Green School Bus Funding for Texas School Districts Decoded
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.