Leveraging EPA's Clean School Bus Rebate Program: A Step-by-Step Guide for Utah School Districts & Resources for Technical Assistance
In 2022, EPA launched the first round of funding through rebates, awarding $900 million to nearly 400 school districts for almost 2,500 new school buses, 95 percent of which are electric.
Now, in 2023, EPA has made $500 million available through a second rebate round. Applications are due January 31, 2024 at 4pm ET. Awards will be announced in April 2024. Rebate applications can request funds for replacing up to 25 buses.
Both priority and non priority districts can receive a maximum of 25 electric school buses. There is no minimum requirement for the rebate program. Priority school districts are eligible for up to $345,000 per bus in funding. This totals to a maximum potential funding of over $8.5 Million per priority school district.
For standard applicants, each of their 25 electric school buses can be awarded up to $200,000, making the total potential funding $5 Million per non-priority school district.
Additionally, through the Qualified Commercial Vehicle Tax Credit, districts may receive a direct payment of up to $40,000 for each electric school bus placed into service beginning 2023 through December 31, 2032.
Selection Process & Prioritization
At least 60% of the 2023 rebate funding is set aside for priority school districts. The program prioritizes high-need school districts and low-income areas, rural school districts, Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded school districts, and school districts receiving basic support payments for children residing on Indian land. You can access the Prioritized School District List by clicking here.
The table below includes a list of Utah districts prioritized in this funding round. **Please note that this list does not encompass all eligible applicants, only those that are prioritized.
The funding can cover expenses related to the bus, charging station, charging station installation, and workforce development and training. Unlike the 2023 Grant Program, rebate applications are simple and short. Applicants use SAM.GOV to provide details on the diesel school bus they'd like to replace, and name what fuel type they'd like to replace it with.
Who Should Apply?
The EPA Clean School Bus Program presents a critical opportunity to advance school bus electrification, but its grants and rebates are aimed at different audiences. Rebates are best for:
1. Small school districts
- Rebates don't have a minimum number of buses that must be replaced, unlike grants.
- **Large school districts that want to replace more than 15 school buses should apply for the 2024 CSBP grants
2. Medium to large-sized school districts that are interested in electric school bus pilot projects.
- Rebates are ideal for ESB pilot projects - a school district's first electric school buses.
- School districts that are committed to electric school buses should apply for the 2024 CSBP grants, when they can receive greater amounts of funding for different uses.
- Rebates are limited to funding the bus and charging station, plus some training.
Electric School Bus Benefits:
- Cost Savings: Electric school buses can save school districts an estimated $4,000–$11,000 per school bus every year on operational expenditures such as fueling, maintenance, and repair costs.
- Cleaner Air: Electric and alternatively-fueled buses eliminate or reduce school bus exhaust, which is linked to asthma, reducing health risks, especially for children whose lungs are still developing.
How to Apply for Electric School Buses, and Resources for Technical Assistance
Step 1: Coordinate with Your Local Utility for E-Bus Project Success ✅
To ensure the successful completion of your electric school bus project, it's vital to collaborate with your local utility. They can provide additional financial support, including discounted rate structures, and help address electrical and infrastructure requirements.
For Pacifcorp customers, contact James Clegg, Regional Business Manager
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 435.261.3988
For Mountain Parks Electric (Summit County) customers, reach out to Chris Michalowski:
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 970.887.7027
If you're uncertain about your utility, use the Utility Lookup Tool at
Step 2: Prepare for Your Utility Meeting ✅
- Use the Electric School Bus Charging Station Planning Form (xlsx) to gather charging-related data and information.
- Involve staff responsible for transportation and facilities operations.
- Coordinate a call with your electric utility, potentially including the superintendent's office, school board, and community members.
Step 3: Explore Free Application and Technical Support Options
If you're considering the 2023 Rebate Program but need guidance, there are free technical assistance options:
The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation provides free clean school bus technical assistance. Submit a TA request or inquire to the Joint Office here.
- Examples of how they can provide support:
- Identifying available funding and incentives.
- Identifying solar and battery storage opportunities.
- Coordinating with electric utilities.
- Analyzing charging infrastructure needs and grid impact.
- Opportunities for resiliency (V2X).
- Conducting training and workforce development.
- Conducting route analysis and planning.
- Analyzing energy needs.
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has dedicated contacts available to address any inquiries regarding cost shares and technical support:
- Lisa Burr: Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Courtney Ehrlich: Reach out to Courtney at email@example.com.
World Resources Institute offers 30-minute, one-on-one sessions for district-specific questions.