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The national Propane Education & Research Council’s Propane Mower Incentive Program has returned for a limited time. Effective immediately, landscape contractors can apply to receive $1,000 toward the purchase of a new propane-powered mower and $500 toward a qualified propane conversion. The incentive will be available until program funds expire, so applicants are encouraged to act fast.
The national incentive can be coupled with the $1,000 incentive from the Propane Council of Texas to help further cover the incremental cost of new factory built unit or conversion of an existing unit. (Certain restrictions apply).
Texas caps incentives at 5 per company, while the national program allows up to 25 per company per year.
Propane mowers and aftermarket conversion kits must hold current EPA or CARB certifications to be eligible for the incentive programs.
Learn more at https://fuelingtexas.com/off-road/mower-incentives
Landscapers can calculate their potential propane savings and ROI by visiting propanecostcalculator.com.
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.