Time is Running Out to Catch the Electric School Bus

The 'Clean School Bus Rebate Program' will provide school districts with funds to purchase electric buses stems from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The window to apply closes on August 19. Parents, teachers, students, and administrators: Make sure your district is on board!

Dory Larsen | July 21, 2022 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Utilities

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, administrator, or neighbor, make sure your school district catches the electric school bus! If you work at a utility or a school, you might have heard about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program by now. As part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill (IIJA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing $5 billion in new spending for clean school buses with money available over the next five years. 

Recently, SACE partnered with the EPA to host a webinar on July 7 explaining the application process and the importance of school districts partnering with your local electricity provider. We had dozens of school districts and utility providers across the Southeast participate and are encouraged that many plan to submit applications. With such a robust amount of funding available, we encourage districts who haven’t started the application process to apply and for parents, teachers, students, and neighbors alike to contact school administrators soon, so their local schools can apply for funding that will lead to cleaner air and healthier bus rides for students and drivers! 

Watch the webinar + Find Resources

On the webinar, Dale Aspy an Environmental Engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency Division 4, provided an overview of the funding and application process. Additionally, Westy Westmoreland, the Director of Electrification with Dominion Energy South Carolina, disseminated information on the bus charging infrastructure itself as well as the need for school districts to partner with their energy provider early in the application process.

Webinar Highlights

  • The deadline to apply for the Clean School Bus Rebate program is August 19, 2022.
  • The Clean School Bus rebate program aims to make the purchase of electric school buses more streamlined than previous programs. 
  • The rebate program entails registering with the SAM.gov system and requiring applicants to obtain a Unique Entity ID before applying. Help is available using the Federal Service Desk, FSD.gov, but it is critical not to wait until the last minute in case there is an issue obtaining your Unique Entity ID. 
  • For selected districts, the EPA will issue the rebate payment to the bank account associated with the SAM.gov Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) indicator associated with the application 
  • Up to 25 school buses can be applied for per application, with only one application allowed per school district.

A unique aspect of the program is the EPA has identified “Prioritized School Districts” that have a higher funding opportunity for the buses and charging infrastructure with up to $375,000 in funding per bus and $20,000 for the charging infrastructure.

Webinar Resources

Clean School Bus Program Resources

Application/Timeline Recap

  • Now: Register as an organization for SAM.gov account
  • Now – August 2022: Talk to utility and community partners 
  • August 19: Deadline to apply for the EPA’s Clean School Bus rebate program
  • October 2022: EPA conducts a lottery and notifies winners 
  • October 2022 – April 2023: Winner orders buses, district works with utility 
  • October 2022-April 2023: Selectees submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating that new buses and eligible infrastructure have been ordered.
  • Before October 2024: Winner submits a close-out form

If you have any questions about the program or the resources, feel free to reach out directly to Dory Larsen at [email protected].

To connect with a Clean School Bus contact in your region, please email: [email protected]Aspy.[email protected], and Carnright.[email protected].

Electrify the South​ is a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy program that leverages research, advocacy, and outreach to promote renewable energy and accelerate ​the ​equitable ​transition to ​electric transportation throughout the Southeast. Visit ElectrifytheSouth.org to learn more and connect with us.

Dory Larsen
Dory joined the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in 2017 and was named Senior Electric Transportation Program Manager in 2023. She is working to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles…
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