April Client of the Month: Ramar Foods

by Angela Quiterio

Ramar Foods began as a small, family-owned company who wanted to share their delicious recipes from the Philippines with North America. With more than 50 years of success, Ramar has expanded into the European, Middle Eastern and Australian markets and has plans to go beyond. PineSpire is thrilled to highlight the vibrant business as our Customer of the Month.

While Ramar is all about delicious food and doing it well, they are also passionate about sustainability. Currently, the following investments lower their carbon footprint while making smart financial sense:

  • Investing in Electric Equipment for Operations
  • Electric Car Chargers for Employees
  • Solar PV system generating energy on all available rooftops
  • On-site fuel cell generator

With core values of excellence, innovation, community, and nourishing culture, it comes as no surprise that Ramar is participating in the LCFS program. Ramar has hybrid truck refrigeration units, EV car chargers, and a range of electric lift trucks all generating carbon credit revenue.

Some of the additional benefits they are reaping thought being involved are:

  • Air quality improvements for employees who are not exposed to idling vehicles or exhaust
  • Providing charging for staff vehicles as a great employee ‘perk’
  • Reducing Green House Gas Emissions from their operations by 175 MT of Carbon per year, compared to using conventional fueled equipment
  • Fuel cost predictability: On-site Solar energy generation helps stabilize energy cost, including the cost of forklift charging
Hybrid Electric Truck RefrigerationUnits
Hybrid Electric Truck Refrigeration Units ready to deliver delicious ice cream and frozen foods, without the carbon emissions

The company that started in 1969 with 3 employees and now has over 300! They are also expanding facilities to keep up with growing demand for their food. Headquartered in Pittsburg, California, Ramar produces everything from staple Filipino foods to our personal favorite ice cream flavor “Mais y Queso” (Corn and Cheese)! We highly recommend visiting their website to find out where and how to purchase their products.

Fan Favorite Flavor: Mais y Queso Ice Cream!
Fan Favorite Flavor: Mais y Queso Ice Cream! A Filipino classic.

Operations Manager: PineSpire Team Continues to Grow

by Angela Quiterio

PineSpire is thrilled to announce Jen Colomb has joined our team as our new Operations Manager.

Operations Manager
Jen Colomb Joins PineSpire’s Team as Operations Manager

Creating Carbon Credits for our customers requires managing immense data sets using Pinespire’s proprietary data platform. Jen will assume responsibility for accurate and efficient data processes from the first customer interaction through to credit monetization. PineSpire also ensures our data is current by providing Customers ongoing access to their fleet inventories through a Customer Dashboard. Additionally, we are integrating fleet data with air quality regulations and EV grants so we can provide valuable guidance and funding opportunities to our customers. All of these services start with a thorough understanding of fleet data and excellent quality control of large data sets. Jen’s experience and attention to detail will ensure smooth data operations for PineSpire and our Customers as we continue to grow and expand our services, including to Washington.

Jen brings a broad set of skills to the Operations Manager role.  Before joining PineSpire, Jen was Billing Manager at an Electric Utility, leading the team who ensured accurate billing and accounting for over 40,000 meters.  She also partnered with and supported the Finance and Member Services teams in her utility role.  Jen honed her research, analysis, and reporting skills during her prior experience as a Forensic Mortgage Analyst and Team Lead with First American Financial, auditing subprime mortgage loans.   A naturally curious person, she is a lifelong learner who takes pride in organization, efficiency, problem-solving, adaptability, and integrity.  She earned a BA in Psychology from Trinity University and a BS in Accounting from Colorado State University Global, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

To Learn more about how PineSpire’s Customer Dashboard, Data and Analytics services, or our Awesome Team, can help your business, please contact us! contact@pinespire.com

Moonlight Companies Benefits from the LCFS Program

by Angela Quiterio

Moonlight Companies is in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley and specializes in sharing delicious fruits with the world. From peaches bursting with flavor to the juiciest mandarins we have ever tried and doing it all with sustainability in mind. Moonlight is constantly innovating on their operations, finding new ways to reduce cost and optimize production. This includes investing in energy, like solar and battery storage, as well as adopting new technologies to continually improve processes.

PineSpire wants to take this opportunity to highlight Moonlight Companies accomplishments as our March Client of the Month.

PineSpire recently had a chance to sit down with Moonlight to discuss the benefits of opting into California’s LCFS program (the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program). Here are the top uses of the revenue from the LCFS program:

  • Offsetting the cost of charging EVs
  • Funding new EV chargers for company cars as well as employees’ vehicles, a nice perk for the team.
  • Hastening the Return on Investment of new electric equipment for their fleet

In addition to taking part of the LCFS program, Moonlight Companies is developing an electrification plan that works for their fleet. Examples of how they are evaluating, funding, and rolling out new EVs include:

  • Participating in a pilot program with HummingbirdEV to test out fully Electric Refrigeration Trucks
  • Leveraging funding from PG&E to install a new service dedicated to Heavy-Duty EV Charging
  • Complying with current regulations for vehicles and material handling equipment
  • Getting ahead on future proposed Zero Emission Air Quality Regulations
  • Ty Tavlan, VP, is actively participating in industry workgroups to provide commercial perspective on both the Heavy-Duty Vehicle adoption and Regulatory fleet emission standards

To learn more about Moonlight Companies click here.

Reach out to PineSpire to talk about how your operation can benefit from the LCFS program and Fleet Planning today.

Goods Movement Program funds available for Electric Forklifts

by Angela Quiterio
Bay Area Goods Movement Program

The Bay Area Goods Movement Program has $20 million available in grant funding to replace diesel equipment with electric fueled equipment. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for your equipment to be Zero-Emission Compliant before it is mandatory! The deadline to submit your application is Thursday, March 31st.

Eligible Applications include:

  • Entities located in the BAAQMD (see below)
  • Entities whose products or business are involved in Good Movement (manufacturing, warehousing, logistics)
  • Replacement of Diesel cargo-handling equipment, transport refrigeration units, and rail-yard equipment

The Goods Movement Program was created to reduce diesel emissions and health risk from freight movement along California trade corridors as quickly as possible. The program is a partnership between CARB (the California Air Resources Board) and the BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, western portion of Solano, southern portion of Sonoma counties.

The program can be used to convert to electric forklifts, transport refrigeration units, rubber-tired gantry cranes, and other equipment. In addition to funding the equipment, the program can cover costs for associated new charging infrastructure.

When you decide to covert to an electric fleet now, you have the opportunity to receive grant funding, as well as become eligible to enroll in the LCFS (low carbon fuel standard) program. The LCFS program allows you to generate revenue each time you charge your electric equipment.

Additionally, electric equipment helps your operations stay in compliance with current and future regulations (like the proposed Zero Emission Forklift rule). Your bottom line will also benefit right away in reduced fuel costs and reduced maintenance costs.

To find out if your equipment is eligible for the Goods Movement Program, visit the Good Movement Program’s application page. Reach out to PineSpire to talk about your fleet strategy and making the most of these funding opportunities: contact@pinespire.com.

Come to the electric side!

CARB announces Concessions in Draft Zero-Emissions Forklift Rule

by Angela Quiterio
Thinking of switching over from propane to electric? Now’s the perfect time!

CARB recently hosted a webinar to provide updates on the draft Zero-Emissions Forklift rule.  These updates included a few significant changes to the proposed regulation based on the feedback received from the industry: 

  1. Diesel forklifts will not be subject to this rule and will remain regulated under the Off-Road Diesel Rule 
  1. Zero Emission Forklift rule implementation will be delayed until 2026 

While these changes are good news for many businesses, particularly with diesel fleets, there are still major implications of the rule to be aware of for businesses operating propane forklift fleets

  1. The proposed rule will require retiring all internal combustion (i.e. gas or propane) equipment based on model year, not based on the percentage of your fleet.  This could mean major fleet turnover in a single year, depending on your fleet’s age. 
  1. Companies using internal combustion rental equipment to manage peak seasons operations will only receive an annual 30 day allowance for renting propane equipment.  Beyond 30 days, all equipment must be electric, including rentals. 

While PineSpire supports businesses moving their fleets to electric as a long-term financial and environmentally sustainable solution, we also want to ensure that transition is practical from a business perspective.  CARB is specifically requesting to hear from forklift fleet owners on the financial feasibility and equipment availability of the Draft Zero-Emission Forklift Rule.  Do you have a perspective you want to share? Contact us and we will ensure your comments are heard.   

For more information on the Zero-Emission Forklift rulemaking, see part 1 of this series. 

PineSpire at the CLFP Food Expo

by Angela Quiterio

Join PineSpire at the California League of Food Processors’ Expo in Sacramento February 15th & 16th

Email contact@pinespire.com for information on complimentary passes to the exhibit.

The California League of Food Processors (CLFP) is a leading advocate for the food processing industry both on a large and small scale. Every year, the CLFP hosts an expo for everyone in the industry, and what better place to have it than in America’s Farm- to- Fork Capital: Sacramento! This year’s event will be special since everyone will gather for the first time since the pandemic and special for us here at PineSpire as it is our first time attending.   

The CLFP Expo will consist of workshops to inform audiences about pressing issues in the industry in 2022, as well as a chance to network with potential partners and customers. Come see us at booth #637!   

One factor that can affect the processing industry in California is the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program put in place by the state to lower carbon emissions.  PineSpire is here to help you monetize LCFS credits for electric vehicles such as forklifts and pallet jacks.  We can generate revenue from existing electric equipment and help you with fleet electrification.

To learn more about electrification, earning LCFS and earning revenue, and get guidance on the latest zero emission forklift regulations, come see us at Booth 637 on the exhibitor floor on February 15th and 16th.  

You don’t want to miss it!  

PineSpire Speaking on CFP at Food Northwest

by Angela Quiterio
Food NW Expo where PineSpire will speak on the Clean Fuels Program in Oregon
Please email contact@pinespire.com for complimentary passes to the event!

“Clean fuels programs”, “lower emissions”, and “electric vehicles” are all terms floating around, but those terms might not mean much to you yet.  A sure way to get informed is to attend the Food Northwest Tradeshow in Portland on February 3rd and 4th where PineSpire’s Ryan Huggins, an expert in the electrification industry, will be covering Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP) as well as answering your questions around it.

To get ready for the event, here’s an overview of what CFP is and how you can benefit while operating in Oregon:

What is CFP:  A clean fuels program instated by the state of Oregon in which those with electric vehicles get awarded for operating them and those who haven’t yet switched from propane to electric, are helped to do so. What’s the reward? A new revenue stream for your business.

Revenue Stream: CFP Credits are how the revenue you get back is measured. Every time you charge your electric fleet, credits are generated and at the end of every month or quarter, conventional fuel companies buy those credits from PineSpire and you get paid! Here at PineSpire, we give you two choices: either enroll and get paid based on market rates or a guaranteed rate, both are good choices; however, it all boils down to which one is best for you and your operations.

Eligible vehicles: The most common electric vehicles that are also eligible for the CFP program include: electric pallet jacks, electric forklifts, truck refrigeration units, cargo-handling equipment, and electric vehicle chargers. Vehicles powered by renewable fuels like biomethane and renewable hydrogen qualify as well

Beyond CFP: Although the CFP is a program for those who already have electric vehicles, PineSpire will also help you in the process of electrifying your fleet, which includes a comprehensive inventory, tailored review of your payback factors, and ongoing data and analytics to measure performance. Reach out to us and find out more about the Return on Investment for EVs and determining if this is the right choice for your operations.

Join us in Portland on February 3rd and 4th to learn more about EV Charging Revenue and how you can get enrolled in CFP today!

Come See Us…2022 Trade Shows

by Ryan Huggins

2022 was here before we knew it, and it goes without saying that the past few years have made in person connections and networking a challenge. Working from home, wondering if people you see on Zoom are shorter than they appear and asking ourselves when things will go back to normal have all been constants during this time.

We don’t know if we’ll work in person any time soon or that video calls will go away, but what we do know is that here at PineSpire we want to see you again… in person! To make that happen, we will be attending some of the biggest conferences the West Coast has to offer, and we want you to join us.

Wrapping up January, we will be at Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California from the 26-27th. Unified Wine and Grape will have an exposition including a wide range of products related to the wine and grape industry and includes international representation.

Following that, we will also be attending the Food Northwest Process & Packaging Expo on February 3-4th in Portland, Oregon– the expo is one of the largest in the United States and happens to be celebrating their 50th annual show by featuring world- recognized keynote speaker, John Manzella.

Lastly, we will be at the California League of Food Producer’s Food Processing Expo on February 15-16th in Sacramento and it is California’s largest food processing expo.

All these events will be great opportunities to:

  1. Learn about new industries
  2. Network with other businesses and potential clients
  3. Get caught up on trends coming up this year

Future of the LCFS Program

by Nancy Brockman

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard begins public input process to define the Future of the LCFS program.Portion of Credits created by Alternative Fuel Types

Proposed Updates to the LCFS Program

CARB has initiated the public input process to evaluate proposed updates to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation.  The process kicked off with a public input workshop in December, attended by nearly 500 participants. The event provided a forum for CARB to present potential updates to the future LCFS program across a wide range of policy aspects that would go into effect in 2024 (at the earliest)

Some of the key proposed future changes to the LCFS program include:

  • Tightening the permitted carbon levels in transportation fuels (called the Carbon-Intensity Score) beyond 2030.  This widely anticipated update would continue to drive incentives for low carbon fuels, like electricity and green-hydrogen.
  • Consider addition of new eligible vehicle classes (like agricultural equipment and off-road heavy equipment).
  • Expanding the types of fuels subject to the program to include jet fuel for intra-state flights
  • Increasing verification and validation methods for fuel producers and credit generators to ensure all participants are receiving appropriate carbon scores.

PineSpire Advocates for Inclusion of Agriculture and Off-Road Equipment

PineSpire has submitted comments to CARB on the proposed rule changes to advocate for the inclusion of agricultural vehicles, improve the efficiency of reporting, and to strive to create a level playing field across vehicle and fuel types.  You can see PineSpire’s comments here.

We want to amplify the voices of our food and agricultural community for inclusion in this revenue-generating opportunity.  As available alternative fuel equipment (i.e. hydrogen and electric) becomes more readily available for the field and farm, it is important to advocate for the equipment to be eligible to generate LCFS credits.  Being eligible in the future LCFS program would help reduce the cost of owning and operating alternative fuel equipment and staying in compliance with evolving air quality regulations. 

What’s Next?

The rulemaking process is just at the beginning.  PineSpire will continue to participate and keep our customers informed on the direction the new policy measures take and how that can create additional LCFS revenue opportunities.  To receive regular updates, you can ask to subscribe here. If you have unique story or business perspective to share with CARB, reach out to us and we can help ensure your comments and business needs are considered in the rulemaking process.

PineSpire’s Growing Team

by Nancy Brockman

PineSpire rounded out 2021 with significant growth in our team.  We are excited to share more information about our new members and their role in supporting customers and ensuring PineSpire continues to help more businesses benefit from electrification.

Desari Vallejos, Electrification Specialist: Desari goes the extra mile to ensures the job gets done and her customers receive the services they need. Using her expertise in electrification and battery technology, Desari finds energy solutions specifically tailored to each customer’s needs and opportunities.  Desari’s background includes establishing long-term successful customer relationships, managing teams, and teaching others the skills they need to succeed. 

Brennan Wiest, Regional Sales Manager: Brennan’s takes an advisory role with customers to help them navigate the complex world of energy credits. This includes providing education, carbon credit service, fleet inventory support, and planning opportunities. He has a diverse background in sales roles, as well as a bachelor’s in Marketing from California State University of San Bernardino.

Angela Quiterio, Sales Operations Analyst: Angela is responsible for ensuring PineSpire has clear communication with customers and reaches more businesses with carbon credit opportunities.  As Sales Ops Analyst, Angela supports our sales team by providing easy-to-digest updates for customers about evolving regulations and new services.  Angela has a background in marketing and a degree in Global Business and Marketing from Suffolk University.