Investing in energy efficiency at the Port of Long Beach is about to pay off more than ever.

Through a new incentive, the port is increasing the benefits for tenants who replace their old, inefficient electrical equipment with new technology — and boost the overall sustainability, resilience and competitiveness of the port in the process.

Effective April 1, port tenants purchasing new lighting, climate control and other equipment eligible for rebates through two Southern California Edison (SCE) programmes can apply for a matching rebate from the port. The port incentive is called the Energy Efficiency Rebate Match (EERM) Program.

“We’re giving our tenants another great reason to upgrade to high-efficiency equipment that helps the environment and their bottom line,” said Port CEO Jon Slangerup. “Their success equals our success.”

For more than a decade, SCE has rewarded its customers for using less electricity. In the case of commercial users, the utility’s core incentive programmes are known as Express Solutions and Customized Solutions. The port developed EERM to encourage tenants to participate by sweetening the deal with matching rebates. To introduce the new programme, the port held a workshop on 5 May, where port and SCE representatives explained how tenants can apply.

The matching incentive is the port’s latest measure for accelerating energy efficiency strategies under its Energy Island Initiative, a comprehensive program for transitioning to renewable power sources and self-generation systems. By

focusing on clean energy generation, conservation and power projects, the port is seeking to become a sustainable energy network, or “island,” integrated with the grid, yet capable of supporting cargo operations during outages and emergencies.

“We’re launching the rebate programme to cut energy demand prior to looking at new power generation,” said Heather Tomley, the Port’s Director of Environmental Planning.

Making the best and highest use of all electrical equipment reduces the amount of power tenants need to operate and increases the sustainability and resiliency of the entire port complex,Tomley said. “Whether we’re talking about the electricity we use now or future energy demand, our best- practices approach includes finding the most economical ways to achieve our energy goals.”

A major driver of EERM and other Energy Island measures is the growing demand for electricity within the port. Lease and regulatory clean air requirements — including California’s shore power rules requiring ships to plug in at berth to cut emissions — are increasing demand for electricity. Reducing consumption figures prominently in regional efforts to meet local, state and federal clean air targets, as well as the port’s own goal of driving emissions down to zero.

The port’s matching rebate will help get the word out about SCE incentives that few tenants have used to date, said SCE Senior Account Manager Damon Hannaman. “As the demand for electricity increases, the Port of Long Beach is leading the way to ensure port operations are cleaner and more sustainable.”