The EPA has allocated $5 billion to replace aging diesel school buses with clean school buses over five years.

For many districts, allocating Clean School Bus funds to reliable propane-powered vehicles will actually allow them to purchase more vehicles for their fleet at a lower total cost of ownership and reduce more overall greenhouse gas emissions than buying new electric vehicles alone. See for yourself.

The Propane Education & Resource Council will be organizing information and tips to help your district improve public health, lower costs, reduce noise, and cut emissions with propane-powered school buses. Check back for regular updates.

A Summary of the EPA's Clean School Bus Program

As part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Environmental Protection Agency has committed $5 billion from FY2022 to FY2026 towards replacing the nation’s nearly 500,000 existing diesel and gasoline school buses with clean alternatives.

Half of the budget is earmarked for zero-emission school buses, while the other half is intended for “clean school buses,” which is defined as an alternative fuel and/or near-zero-emission vehicle.

With 96% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel and near-zero particulate matter, propane autogas school buses fall into the “clean school buses” category.

The EPA will award up to 100% of the cost of replacing a bus and building infrastructure, funded via grants, rebates or contracts.

State and local government entities, certain contractors that facilitate bus or equipment sales, nonprofit school transportation associations, and tribal organizations are eligible to apply.

For more details, visit the Clean School Bus program page.

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How to Get Started: A Running List

The EPA has begun accepting applications for the Clean School Bus Program. There are a few things you can do to prepare your application:

Determine your organization’s Points of Contact (POC)

You will need to have an E-Business POC and a Government Business POC. These persons will need to be listed in your organization’s federal registries since they are the only two roles that will be allowed to submit a Clean School Bus Rebate application.

Check your registrations

Make sure your organization has active registrations on the Federal Government’s secure sign-in system and the System for Award Management.

Sign up for EPA updates

Receive the latest Clean School Bus Program news and updates by signing up for their newsletter.

Catch a webinar

Since late 2021, the EPA has been hosting virtual public listening sessions and virtual info sessions about the Clean School Bus program. You can watch past webinars — or catch an upcoming info session — on their website.

Create a fleet inventory

If you don’t have one already, the EPA provides a tool for organizing the details of your school bus fleet. This information will be useful for your application — and can be used to help you project the right approach for your district.

Project and compare costs and emissions reductions

Now that you have the details of your fleet organized, use our calculator to accurately project the emissions that would be reduced by replacing your vehicles with propane or electric buses — and at what cost.

Compare Refueling and Recharging Options

Propane autogas offers five refueling options to choose from — all of which cost a fraction of the cost of a new electric recharging facility. Use our guide to help you understand the hidden costs of electric charging stations, and how propane autogas can get your fleet running faster.

Compare repair and maintenance needs

As you’re evaluating your approach, it helps to begin thinking about the codes, standards, and training that would be needed for introducing propane buses versus electric buses. Propane buses have the lowest total cost of ownership of any school bus type, and are less disruptive to fleet mechanics. Learn more.

Sign up for the Autogas Refuel newsletter

Get the latest information about propane autogas-powered fleet vehicles and school buses delivered to your inbox every quarter.

Begin your application

Double check the EPA’s requirements and guidelines and access the application form.

 

Don’t Miss Out on Other Rebates

In addition to this federal funding, many states also offer rebates and incentives to offset the costs of propane autogas vehicles. See if your state is one of them.