The Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED) has announced that Indiana public school corporations that own their own buses can begin applying for a share of $300,000 through the OED's 2015 Indiana Propane School Bus grant program.
This is the OED's first grant round specifically dedicated to propane autogas school buses. According to the agency, schools can benefit from propane buses in a variety of ways, including decreasing children's exposure to harmful emissions, lowering maintenance costs through the use of a cleaner-burning fuel and increasing fuel diversity.
“We're excited to open applications for this propane school bus grant program,” says OED Director Tristan Vance. “Projects such as these can reduce costs, improve fueling options and utilize domestic energy resources.”
The OED says winning recipients will receive between 50% and 100% of the incremental cost difference between a new propane-powered school bus and a diesel- or gasoline-powered school bus. The agency intends for winning recipients to track their miles driven, fuel usage and cost savings for one year after the buses are first put in use, as this data can help the recipients and their communities and peers better understand their fueling options.
Notably, program projects must involve the purchase of a minimum of two new propane school buses. Applicants must have access to propane fueling infrastructure or show that they will have access if they are awarded a grant.
The OED says it expects applicants to demonstrate their need for this project and how this project will benefit the applicant's school corporation. While cost sharing of the incremental cost is not a requirement for applicants, Vance says special consideration is given to applications that leverage additional funding or for those which have in-kind funding.
Applications for the grant program can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org through Oct. 16. Program guidelines are available at here.