Clean Fuels Ohio Persuades State to Create Innovative Financing Incentive for Alternative Fuel Schoo
Through the work of Clean Fuels Ohio and our industry partners, the Ohio General Assembly created a new incentive for school buses as part of the state budget bill. The legislation will provide school districts an easy pathway to fund the additional cost for school buses that run on alternative fuels like propane, CNG and electric, then pay back financing from savings on fuel and maintenance. All of this can happen without having to appeal to taxpayers through a levy. School personnel interested in this new innovative program will learn more by attending Midwest Green Fleets Forum and Expo on August 1 and 2 in Columbus.
The School Energy Program, established in 1985, allows school districts to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings, and use those cost savings to pay for the improvements. The program gives districts the ability to borrow funds without having to pass a ballot issue for the authority to borrow. This limited borrowing authority has saved school districts millions in utility bills and operating costs, driving those savings into the classroom, all at no additional taxpayer expense. The budget amendment recommended by Clean Fuels Ohio expands the borrowing authority to include school transportation, a logical addition that has historically been overlooked.
Too often, school districts express an interest in buying alternative fueled school buses, but can’t afford even the small amount of upfront costs. However, school buses running on alternative fuels typically save much more than this initial incremental cost over the life of the vehicle. This program will completely eliminate this barrier for schools that can show at least a five year payback on cleaner, alternative fuel buses.
Clean Fuels Ohio just held an initial meeting with the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee to discuss implementation of the new law. We expect the program to be up and running after 90 days as required by law.