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The Propane Council of Texas Examines the Many Funding Opportunities to Go Green
Right now is the perfect time for school districts to switch to cleaner-burning propane-powered school buses. There is a multitude of funding opportunities that can help school districts replace their buses with a greener option from state to federal funds. Below we focus on school bus specific grants.
All the below grants are eligible statewide (except the below mentioned HGAC regional grant):
Alternative Fuel Initiatives School Bus Rebate Program
Last week, the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) announced a competitive grant for smaller, rural school districts. Texas tax-payer supported school districts may be eligible up to $8,000 per bus up to 10 buses. Submission deadline is October 31, 2015.
DERA 2015 School Bus Replacement
Additionally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced $7 million in funding for school buses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Applicants may list up to ten buses for replacements on each application. These buses must be powered by a model year 2006 or older engine. EPA will pay between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus, depending on vehicle size. The bus being replaced must be scrapped and permanently disabled. The deadline to apply is October 30, 2015.
Alternative Fuels Clean School Bus Replacement Programs
Through a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Statewide Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP), both the Railroad Commission and the Texas PTA have funding for school districts to replace older diesel school buses that are 2002 or older with new alternative fuel buses like propane. There are a couple differences between the two programs.
The Railroad Commission Program requires school districts to be NEW to propane. Texas PTA does not require a school to be new to propane; however, they do require the school district receiving the bus to have one school belonging to the Texas PTA.
Both programs require that the buses be scrapped. Funding is cyclical as money comes in as TCEQ accesses fines and violators choose which Statewide Supplemental Environmental Project they want their fines to go to.
The Railroad Commission is actively seeking school districts that are looking to make the switch so they can call them when funds come in to help districts make the transition.
Contact information for the grant administrators of the both SEP’s are below:
Railroad Commission contact: Art Valladares 512-463-7359 firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas PTA contact: Mayra Guevara (512) 320-9825 email@example.com
Houston-Galveston Area Council SEP
Houston-Galveston Area Council also implements a TCEQ SEP to help replace 2010 or older buses with new, lower emission buses that meet the most recent EPA emissions standards.
School district must operate the bus 75 % of their time in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston or Brazoria counties. Buses must be scrapped.
Please call (832) 681-2578 for more information.
Donation recognizes Friendswood ISD for improving student health and safety with a propane-powered bus fleet
The Propane Education & Research Council donated $2,500 to Friendswood Junior High School Wednesday in recognition of its effort to improve students’ health and safety by adopting a propane-powered bus fleet. The donation is part of the commodity checkoff program’s new campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of transitioning away from diesel and other dirty fuels.
“Diesel has long been the standard in school transportation, but for districts that want to reduce harmful emissions, save money, and create a safer, healthier ride, propane is an excellent alternative,” said Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO.
In 2012, Friendswood Junior High began transitioning their bus fleet to the alternative fuel. Today, 12 of its 50 buses run on propane, with three more on order. Transportation Director Mike Jones said he’s pushing for an all propane fleet. For Friendswood, “it’s a complete win-win,” Jones said.
“The fuel is cheaper, the infrastructure is simpler and it’s cleaner for the environment,” said Jones. “The new diesel models come with the aftertreatment systems on the exhaust,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about any of that with the propane.”
According to PERC, aside from serious cost-saving benefits, propane buses run quieter than diesel, allowing drivers to better monitor passengers’ activity. They also reduce exposure to diesel exhaust, which the World Health Organization classifies as a carcinogen.
Recognizing these benefits, schools across 45 states — a total of more than 7,000 buses — have transitioned to propane. Twenty of the top 25 designated market areas and four of the 10 largest school districts in the country are now using them. The trend prompted PERC to launch an awareness campaign early this fall to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation. The Council has partnered with journalist and former teacher Jenna Bush Hager and the nonprofit Adopt a Classroom to donate more than $30,000 nationwide to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.
“It’s clear when you talk to school administrators and transportation departments that they are saving more than just dollars and cents by going with propane buses,” said Hager. “The switch is improving their school as a whole and giving them the opportunity to invest in more teachers or school programs.”
For more information on propane school buses, including bus safety tips for parents and kids courtesy of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, visit BetterOurBuses.com. To donate to teachers in your local community, visit AdoptAClassroom.org
About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. PERC leads safety and training efforts and drives technology development to expand the adoption of propane as a clean, domestic, and affordable energy source. PERC programs benefit a variety of markets including transportation, agriculture, landscaping, residential, and commercial. For more information about propane-powered technologies, equipment incentives, and PERC, visit PropaneCouncil.org.
About Friendswood Junior High: Friendswood Junior High School is located in Friendswood, Texas primarily a residential area located in the northwestern corner of Galveston County, approximately 25 miles from downtown Houston. City of Friendswood Online FJH is the only Junior High School in the Friendswood Independent School District. Friendswood Junior High School houses approximately 1500 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Friendswood Junior High School is an Exemplary campus and are proud to be a part of a TEA Exemplary district. Our goal is to assist our students in the development of their academic skills, as well as provide them with opportunities to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.
The U.S. Department of Energy Department announced $11 million in available funding to support development and demonstration of innovative alternative technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, designed to help reduce U.S. reliance on gasoline, diesel, and oil imports.
The funding opportunity includes two areas, but the one that affects us is the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Dual Fuel Fleet Demonstration. It seeks to demonstrate the performance and reliability of commercially-available dual fuel heavy-duty vehicles equipped with engines capable of operation using a mixture of diesel fuel and gaseous fuels like natural gas and propane autogas.
The vehicles and conversion systems must be produced in the United States.
Concepts are due by October 8, 2015.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, click here and scroll to Docket DE-FOA-0001349.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that up to $5.9 million in grants is being made available through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Texas Clean Fleet Program (TCFP) to encourage entities that operate large fleets of vehicles in Texas to replace diesel-powered vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles(includes propane).
Eligible entities include those that own fleets of 75 or more vehicles operated in Texas. Entities must commit to replace at least 20 diesel-powered light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles with a new alternative fuel vehicle of the same weight classification and use.
Applications will be accepted for consideration only if received at the front desk, Rm. 1301, 1st floor of Building F on the premises of the TCEQ (12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753) by no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Time, November 10, 2015.
Please visit www.terpgrants.org or call 1-800-919-TERP (8377) for more information regarding the TCFP eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and application submittal process.
Interested applicants are also encouraged to attend a TCFP Application Workshop hosted by the TCEQ. The workshop schedule has been provided for your convenience below.
Austin: September 28, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
TCEQ’s Austin Office
Building F, Room 2210
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, TX 78753
Longview: September 29, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Maude Cobb Convention Center
100 Grand Boulevard
Longview, TX 75604
Arlington: September 30, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Transportation Council Room
616 Six Flags Drive, Centerpoint II
Arlington, TX 76011
Houston: October 1, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Tracy Gee Community Center
3599 Westcenter Drive
Houston, TX 77042
The workshop schedule can also be found online at www.terpgrants.org.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has opened the Clean Fleets North Texas 2015 Call for Projects to help to upgrade to cleaner-burning options like propane. Applications are being accepted through October 23, 2015. The grant opportunity will provide approximately $2.5 million in funds on competitive basis for private and public fleets (includes school districts) with operations in the 10-County Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Ozone Non-attainment area.
- Up to 80 percent of incremental cost will be awarded minus scrap value to eligible projects on a competitive basis.
- Project types eligible for grant funding include qualifying new purchase, replacement, repower, retrofit, or engine conversion
- All projects must achieve a reduction in NOX emissions.
- Applicants must adopt the Clean Fleet Policy prior to the application deadline.
- Again, this is a competitive grant, not all submitted projects will be funded
A grant workshop will be conducted on September 3, 2015 at the NCTCOG offices at 2:00 PM in the William J. Pitstick Executive Board Room. The grant application and guidelines will be reviewed and any questions will be addressed.
In addition, NCTCOG is seeking information on refueling or recharging infrastructure projects desired by fleets; while these projects are not eligible for grant funds at this time, staff will use this information to evaluate potential future opportunities for assistance.
The Propane Council of Texas, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public on cleaner-burning propane hopes to help green the landscape community. This past week, August 13-15, 2015 in Dallas, the Council attended the Nursery/Landscape Expo hosted by the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association in effort to tout the benefits of greener options for landscapers.
The EPA estimates that 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each year refueling lawn equipment. Propane eliminates this threat to the environment, because it doesn’t contaminate groundwater or soil. Plus, it has a closed refueling system.
Additionally, propane commercial mowers produce less carbon and fewer greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Landscapers do not have to worry about lost labor hours due to mowing restrictions on Ozone Action Days, because propane mowers have lower emissions than traditional gasoline mowers,” says Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas.
Landscapers also now have a vast amount of mowers to choose from that can be powered with propane. There are more than 17 manufacturers and 135 propane commercial mower models available either straight from the factory or through conversion.
“Propane Council of Texas also makes it easier for landscapers to make the switch by offering the incentives,” says Mason.
The program, which began in 2010, currently gives up $1,000 per propane commercial mower, up to 5 mowers.
For more information, propane mowers and the Council’s incentive programs, visit http://www.fuelingtexas.com.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996.
On July 10, 2015, the current National Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) Propane Mower Incentive Program will cease accepting new applications, and all activity within the program will begin to draw to a close. A revised and refreshed incentive program is in the planning stages and will be announced in the coming months.
PERC has remained very committed to this program, as it serves as both a unique sales tool for the industry and a measurement for market success. Since 2013, the Mower Incentive Program has helped place over 3,100 propane mowers into the marketplace, adding 3.1M gallons of demand to the market since its inception and roughly 15.5M gallons of demand over the next five years (avg. lifespan of the equipment).
All national incentive program communications and the online application will be updated this week to reflect the program status.
Below are some key notes regarding the end of the Propane Mower Incentive Program.
- The incentive was subject to the available budgeted funds and, as such, could end at any time should program funding be depleted.
- No new applications will be accepted after July 10th.
- PERC will honor all current applications in process prior to the July 10th deadline, provided the applicant completes the program paperwork and requirements.
- A new Propane Mower Incentive Program is in the planning stages, and an announcement will likely be made in the fall of 2015.
Please contact Jeremy Wishart at 202-452-8975 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
DALLAS — School transportation directors from all over Texas converged on Dallas for the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation (TAPT) Conference at the Hilton Anatole this weekend. The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) was on hand to educate transportation officials on propane cutting-edge technology to help districts lower school bus emissions.
Propane school buses reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, produce fewer smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions, and do not expose children to harmful particulate matter found in diesel exhaust. Particulate matter can increase breathing-related issues and worsen asthma.
“Propane autogas is a smart choice for Texas schools,” said Jackie Mason, Educational & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas. “Not only does propane lower harmful emissions, but it reduces fuel costs and has a proven safety record in Texas.”
Even with the low cost of motor fuel, propane autogas still offers very significant savings over diesel for school districts looking to make the switch, and it’s found right here in our own backyard. Texas produces nearly half the nation’s propane and the U.S. is a net exporter of the domestic, cleaner-burning fuel.
“School districts have options. Top school bus manufacturers have responded to requests for greener buses, and they now produce propane buses, including Blue Bird, Collins Bus Corporation, Thomas Built Bus, and IC Bus,” says Mason.
There are nearly 2,500 school buses powered by propane operating in Texas. Over 70 school districts, including Arlington ISD, Conroe ISD, Houston ISD, and Eanes ISD in Austin are using propane alternative fuel buses. Dallas County Schools and Northside ISD in San Antonio host the largest propane powered school bus fleets in Texas.
For many school districts across the state, running propane-powered school buses and other vehicles on cleaner-burning autogas is a great way to help build greener schools and healthier budgets.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. To find out more about propane autogas, visit FuelingTexas.com.
According to the Houston Chronicle, this past December 2014, the Texas Parent Teacher Association (TX PTA) presented another school district with a grant to purchase cleaner school buses, helping the district to reduce school bus emissions. Clear Creek school district was awarded $100,000 to buy two more buses to add their existing alternative fuel bus fleet.
The PTA’s Clean School Bus grants are funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The program assists school districts with the purchase of cleaner alternative fuel buses.
According to the article, Clear Creek runs 55 buses on compressed natural gas (CNG), 16 buses on propane, and 213 on diesel.
TX PTA President, Leslie Boggs is quoted in article discussing how school buses can emit harmful diesel exhaust and particulate matter, which can cause or amplify respiratory problems like asthma and be harmful to children whose lungs have not fully developed.
Boggs states in the article that buses that run on propane or compressed natural gas reduce particulate matter emissions to virtually zero also touts the substantial economic benefit of using propane autogas.
CCISD has plans to grow its alternative fuel bus fleet with twelve more propane buses this March.
The district also recently applied for an additional grant through the TCEQ’s Texas Clean Fleet Program. This grant could potentially fund up to $1.8 million for the purchase of 28 propane-powered school buses replacing some of the district’s older diesel school buses.
Texas non-profit offers vehicle rebates to those upgrading to propane autogas
The Propane Council of Texas—a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner-burning,
domestically produced propane—is offering incentives to Texas businesses who upgrade their fleet vehicles to
the globally-recognized alternative fuel. The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) now offers up to a $7,500
incentive per new propane vehicle purchased or converted to propane autogas by a private fleet. This is an
increase from what was previously allowed for aftermarket conversions. The program cap is $15,000 per
private fleet. In return for the incentive(s), vehicle incentive recipients will be required to provide data on their
“The program provides seed money for Texas businesses who are introducing propane autogas into their fleet
for the first time,” said Jackie Mason, Education and Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas
(ProCOT). “The Council believes businesses that demo the vehicle in their fleet will clearly see the advantages
and continue to adopt propane into their fleet without any further incentives.”
Some of the benefits of propane autogas include fuel cost savings, lower harmful emissions, and reduced
vehicle maintenance due to propane’s high-octane rating. Plus, propane is an American made alternative fuel,
with two-thirds of the nation’s supply being produced right here in the Lone Star State.
Many private fleets across Texas are already fueling with propane autogas, including delivery and service
companies, shuttle services, taxis, telecommunications companies and landscapers. Since 2010, the Propane
Council of Texas has provided incentives to business fleets that have powered their vehicles with propane
autogas. Some past incentive recipients include: ARS, Admiral Linen & Uniform, Primetime Gutters, and
To learn more about the many advantages of propane autogas, please visit the Propane Council of Texas’
dedicated autogas website,
www.fuelingtexas.com. To find out more about the business vehicle incentive program, please visit www.propanecounciloftexas.org.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the
propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity
that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress
with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. The program is funded with
small fees from the propane industry and goes to fund several safety programs, as well as the commercialization
of new propane technology. Visit www.procot.org for more information.