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Propane Helps Schools & Communities Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
In honor of Earth Week, the Propane Council of Texas would like to highlight the environmental benefits of clean-burning propane school buses for a way school districts can lower their emissions and help create greener schools and communities.
There are over 26 million propane-powered vehicles worldwide with over 14,000 propane-powered school buses operated by more than 830 school districts transporting over 850,000 students a day across America. 2,870 of those propane school buses are greening Texas.
Propane is cleaner-burning, non-toxic, and does not contaminate groundwater or soil. With cleaner-burning propane school buses, students are exposed to reduced emissions like greenhouse gas, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide, and particulate matter.
“The Propane Council of Texas hopes that number will grow as more school districts realize the health benefits of lower emitting propane school buses to their students and transportation personnel,” states Jackie Mason of the Propane Council of Texas.
A new modern, best in class propane-powered school bus is more earth-friendly and can reduce NOx by 75% compared to a new “clean” diesel school bus. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, NOx has now become the largest ozone-depleting substance created by human activities. NOx also contributes to ground-level ozone and can aggravate asthma and other breathing related issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ground-level ozone can also have harmful effects on vegetation and ecosystems.
The new Low NOx propane school buses are helping schools contributing to cleaner air for school children and reducing their carbon footprint.
To learn more about more about the advantages of propane autogas, please visit the Propane Council of Texas’ dedicated autogas website, 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 on clean-burning propane. 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.
Recent claims within the school bus industry state that diesel buses are clean, cost-effective and easier to maintain — while casting doubt on propane autogas. Here are some of those recent statements made about “clean” diesel school buses — and the facts about propane-fueled models.
Fiction: Diesel is clean and has the lowest carbon footprint over the operational life of a school bus.
Fact: Modern diesel emissions are much cleaner than they used to be and typically do well in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Propane engines also have very low greenhouse gas emissions — and also significantly reduce the toxic emission constituent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) at four times less output than modern diesels. This is important because most NOx emissions are sourced from the transportation sector whereas only a small percentage of greenhouse gas emissions are sourced from transportation. Greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide are inert gases and are part of what we exhale. NOx pose considerable danger to human health and air quality.
“Propane is definitely the direction to go, away from diesel and emission issues,” said Neal Higgins, mechanic for Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia.
Fiction: Diesel buses are easier to maintain.
Fact: Today’s diesel buses may be cleaner than year’s past, but they are cleaner only through complexity, like expensive equipment and high-maintenance systems, which aren’t required on propane autogas school buses. To meet federal emission standards, a diesel bus has 20 additional parts — that’s 20 components that need to be maintained. They include diesel particulate filters, manual regeneration and diesel exhaust fluid, and other complex after-treatment devices.
“There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through with diesel due to of all of the EPA emission standards. New EPA-certified diesel buses have become much more expensive and difficult to maintain,” said Bruce Thomas, master technician for Adams 12 Five Star in Thornton, Colorado. “For our district, the upfront costs have increased substantially just for equipment to pass newer emission standards.”
Fiction: When you look at all the factors, diesel buses offer the lowest total cost of ownership.
Fact: More than 800 school districts are saving 20 to 50 percent on a cost per mile basis for fuel and maintenance operating propane buses compared to diesel. School bus fleets have saved between $400 and $3,000 per propane bus per year when compared to the diesel buses they operate. Propane has the lowest cost of infrastructure of all transportation fuels, saving money on fueling station needs. Historically, propane autogas averages 50 percent less than diesel.
“We tracked data on both a propane bus and a diesel bus of the same model year. The propane bus was driven for bus routes on dirt roads with multiple stops and starts,” said Brian Swestaka, director of transportation for Howard-Winneshiek Community School District in Cresco, Iowa. “The diesel bus was used as an activity bus, mostly highway miles. The propane bus still operated significantly cheaper than the diesel bus due to fuel and maintenance savings.”
Fiction: Many alternative fuel engines aren’t built for medium-duty use.
Fact: The Ford 6.8L engine is built specifically for medium-duty applications. Introduced in 1997, there are more than 1.8 million of these engines on the road today. This is the engine used in more than 10,500 Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses transporting students to and from schools across the nation.
While there is an upfront cost associated with converting a vehicle or buying a new dedicated propane autogas model, the low cost of the fuel compared with diesel often translates to a quick return on investment. Most fleets that make the switch recoup their investment within 18 months of use.
“A state grant paid for the incremental cost difference of our propane buses, which meant we could start saving money right away since our fuel and maintenance costs are much lower than with our diesel buses,” said Ricky Phillips, vehicle maintenance manager of Clarksville-Montgomery School District in Montgomery County, Tennessee
Whatever type of fuel used, school districts around the nation must work within their operational budgets and environmental goals. Hundreds of school districts have chosen propane and are proving it’s a clean-burning and economical transportation fuel.
Ryan Zic is the school bus sales director for ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology. His expertise includes direct sales, original equipment manufacturer management and Tier 1 sales and support. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.59.ROUSH. To learn more, visit ROUSHcleantech.com.
Propane Council of Texas Touts Opportunities for Cleaner Air with the State’s Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program
Propane is eligible under the newly expanded grant program
This month, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced a grand round of $15.4M for their newly expanded Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP). The grant program funds the replacement older diesel or gasoline medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles with CNG, LNG and now LPG (propane) vehicles operating in the Clean Transportation Zone, an 83 county area of Texas.
Propane was added to Texas Senate Bill 1731 in the 85th Legislative session since it is Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) and is too homegrown, found right here in Texas.
“The Propane Council of Texas is excited to educate fleets on this new opportunity to add clean-burning propane vehicles on Texas roads,” says Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director for the Council.
Propane is a great option for fleets, because it is economical, domestically-produced, widely available fuel, and contributes to cleaner air. The propane industry has engineered a multitude of platforms that are eligible for the program from medium-duty trucks to school buses that government and business fleets as well as school districts who can upgrade, too.
Funding under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program varies dependent on the model year of the vehicle, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and fuel type of the vehicle, the entity is replacing. Click here to download the guidelines.
For more information or to contact the Propane Council of Texas, email email@example.com
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 and the state arm of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies.
Donation acknowledges Humble Independent School District’s
commitment to student health and safety by operating propane school buses
HUMBLE, Texas (September 26, 2017) – The national nonprofit Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) surprised teachers at River Pines Elementary School today with a $5,000 donation in recognition of Humble Independent School District’s efforts to maintain good stewardship of its economic and environmental resources by adding propane buses to its school transportation fleet. The donation is part of PERC’s nationwide campaign to educate parents, teachers and school officials about the benefits of using an alternative fuel like propane.
“Propane school buses are the clean, quiet and safe alternative to older diesel buses, and Humble ISD is a great example of the success a school district can enjoy after transitioning to propane school buses,” said Tucker Perkins, PERC president and CEO. “Plus, propane buses cost less, so school districts can spend more of its operating budget on classroom programs.”
The $5,000 donation will awarded to River Pines Elementary teachers to help buy classroom materials through the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org’s online marketplace for teachers.
The school district first purchased 27 propane buses in 2011 with the help of a $2.9 million grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Parent Teacher Association. In the fall of 2016, $1.1 million of grant money, obtained from TCEQ and Houston Galveston Area Councils, increased the number of propane buses operated by the fleet to 47. About 20 percent of the district’s total school bus fleet is now powered by propane to help transport approximately 12,000 students to and from school daily. Propane school buses at Humble ISD have helped the district save on fuel costs. Propane is $0.80 per gallon compared to $1.80 for a gallon of diesel.
“Humble ISD seeks ways to be good stewards of environmental and economic resources,” J.P. Burd, director of transportation said. “Propane buses are clean and safe, and the cost of fuel is significantly less than diesel.”
The benefits of propane school buses, however, extend beyond the cost of the fuel. Propane school buses are safe because of their quiet and clean operation. Because they are quiet, students don’t have to shout over a noisy engine if they need assistance and drivers can more easily hear what is going on inside the bus, along with the area outside surrounding the bus. Propane school buses emit fewer greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide than older diesel buses, so the air at bus stops is better for students. The World Health Organization classifies diesel exhaust as a carcinogen, and the chemicals it contains can have both short- and long-term health effects on children and drivers, from aggravated asthma to respiratory illnesses.
The trend of propane school bus adoption is growing across the country. Schools in 750 districts across 47 states are operating more than 13,000 propane school buses, which transport nearly 790,000 students to school each day. The trend prompted PERC to launch its awareness campaign to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation, and partnered with the non-profit AdoptAClassroom.org. Now in its third year, the campaign has donated $75,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.
Propane Education & Research Council: 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.
AdoptAClassroom.org empowers teachers by providing the classroom supplies and materials needed to help their students learn and succeed. As an award-winning 501(c)(3), AdoptAClassroom.org makes it easy for individual donors and corporate sponsors to donate funds to K-12 classrooms in public, private and charter schools throughout the U.S. On average, teachers spend $600 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms – 20% of teachers spend more than $1,000 annually. Since 1998 AdoptAClassroom.org has raised more than $30million and benefited more than 4.25 million students. AdoptAClassroom.org holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, or to adopt a classroom, please visit www.adoptaclassroom.org.
The IC Bus Grant Program will offer qualifying school districts throughout the United States and Canada $5,000 in grants per newly purchased propane-powered CE Series school buses. This grant gives those school districts that would like or are planning to make the switch to propane more flexibility in their purchase decision. The grant can be used towards items such as buying additional buses, investing in new technology, hiring additional drivers, infrastructure updates to maintenance facilities, among other uses that the school district prioritizes.
“With today’s advanced propane-powered buses offering an added dimension of environmental benefit, IC Bus is committed to doing what’s right for our customers and for the environment, to create a better world by creating better buses,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “School districts frequently stress to us their desire to pursue environmentally friendly fuel choices. The IC Bus Grant Program reaffirms our commitment to continue developing affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally beneficial school bus options.”
The IC Bus® CE Series school bus powered by the Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8-liter LP propane engine is purpose-built for the school bus industry. The CE Series with PSI propane engine is designed to provide diesel-like performance with higher torque at lower engine speeds, while lowering emissions and reducing maintenance costs.
For complete IC Bus Grant Program rules, contact your IC Bus dealer or visit http://www.icbus.com.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus® brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.
The Propane Education & Research Council is awarding $100 per tank-side connector and $1000 per hose-end connector through its Quick Connect Nozzle Rebate Program.
Using the quick connect nozzle has its advantages.
- Similar to refueling with gasoline and diesel
- May be operated with one hand
- Does not require the refueler to wear protective eyewear or gloves
- Are unable to be cross-threaded
- Release less emissions per connection
Click here to learn more or apply for the incentive.
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is proud to represent our national Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) at the Earth Day Texas and National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey, in which PERC is a major sponsor. Odyssey Day is the largest, nationwide event dedicated to promoting the use of and educating people about alternative fuel vehicles and Earth Day Texas is the world’s largest Earth Day celebration.
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), Earth Day Texas, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, a U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities coalition joined forces to bring the two events together for one long weekend at Fair Park in Dallas to bring awareness to alternative fuel vehicles and clear air initiatives.
The event kicks off this Thursday, April 19 with National Odyssey Day and an Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Summit. Friday, April 21, 2017 – Sunday, April 23, 2017 marks the Earth Texas Day event where over 150,000 people from the DFW metroplex are expected. Several cleaner-burning propane-powered vehicles (including a school bus, delivery vehicle, pick-up trucks, and SUV) will be featured in the AFV Pavilion located right next to Cotton Bowl Plaza.
“The event will give us a chance to show the public that propane goes beyond the grill,” said Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas, “That propane autogas is a lower-emitting option in school transportation and for fleets in their communities.”
Propane autogas has been a proven motor fuel since 1913 and is the most commonly used alternative fuel in the world. There are 25 million propane vehicles worldwide, over 200,000 in United States, and nearly 7,000 in Texas. The Lone Star State also hosts 2,600 cleaner-burning propane school buses. In the U.S., there are over 12,500 propane school buses operated by over 700 school districts transporting over ½ a million students each school day.
About Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a check-off program established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. PERC implements safety and training programs, conducts research, and invests in technology development with leading equipment manufacturers to expand adoption of propane as a clean, American-made energy source.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas is (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 and the state arm of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies.
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.
TCEQ Opens Up Funding for the Statewide Alternative Fuel New Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive (LDLPI) Program
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that up to $7.8 million in grants is being made available for the new Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive (LDPLI) Program. The LDPLI is a program that provides financial incentives up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or electric drives (plug-in).
“The great part of this program is you do not have to be in non-attainment or near non-attainment area. Anyone in the state of Texas can take advantage of this program,” says Jackie Mason of the Propane Council of Texas.
The vehicle must be a new light-duty motor vehicle. Texas Health and Safety Code Section 386.151 (2), defines a light-duty motor vehicle as a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds.
The propane autogas powered vehicles must be purchased or leased from a dealer or leasing company licensed to sell or lease new vehicles in Texas to qualify. Some of the LPG eligible vehicles include Roush’s E-150 – E-350 vans as well as their F-250 as long as the vehicles meet the weight criteria. A full listing of eligible vehicles under the LDPLI is available on the TERP web site at www.terpgrants.org.
Bi-fuel and dedicated conversions may be eligible, but only under these very strict circumstances. The car dealer will need to work directly with an alternative fuel system convertor to convert the engine and fuel system to operate on the alternative fuel before the sale or lease of the vehicle is completed.
So basically, to be eligible for the rebate grant someone may not have the engine and fuel system converted to the alternative fuel after they have purchased or leased the vehicle. To qualify for a grant, the final alternative fuel vehicle must be sold or leased as a new vehicle by the licensed new vehicle dealer or leasing company.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis from now until June 26, 2015 (so until next Summer), or until all funding is awarded, whichever occurs first.
Please note: Only purchases completed after the official opening of the grant round, which began May 13, 2014 are eligible to apply for a Rebate.
For questions regarding the LDPLI program, please contact the TERP program at 800-919-TERP (8377).