The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two school bus rebate opportunities for this year: the longstanding Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Program, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates.
The two funding opportunities, totaling to approximately $17 million, will be available to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of aging diesel school buses with new school buses that meet the EPA’s cleanest emission standards, according to a news release from the agency.
“All children, regardless of their zip code, have a right to learn and play in a healthy environment,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These funding opportunities to replace highly polluting diesel buses will result in healthier air for many of the 25 million American children who rely on school buses to transport them to and from school each day.”
ARP Electric School Bus Rebates
The ARP Electric School Bus Rebates include $7 million to fund the replacement of aging older diesel school buses with new, zero-emission electric school buses. The funds are reserved exclusively for school districts in underserved communities, tribal schools, and private fleets serving those schools. This program offers $300,000 per bus for up to four electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure. The list of eligible applicants is available on the 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates website.
DERA School Bus Rebates
Meanwhile, the EPA’s latest round of DERA School Bus Rebates offers approximately $10 million to fund the replacement of aging diesel buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses meeting current emission standards. All public school districts, and private bus fleets serving those schools are eligible to apply. Available rebates are between $20,000 to $65,000 per bus depending on the type of fuel used in the replacement bus. Applicants can request rebates for up to 10 buses with a maximum rebate amount of $300,000 per application.
Both rebate programs will select awardees through a lottery system. Awardees are required to scrap the older diesel bus models being replaced to ensure those buses will not continue to pollute. The programs will run concurrently but require separate application forms.
The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern.