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DERA

School Bus Rebates: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over 2,000 vehicles. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

 
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2020 DERA School Bus Rebates CLOSED

School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

The 2020 DERA School Bus Rebates will offer over $10 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses will receive a rebate of $20,000-$65,000 per bus depending on the fuel type of the replacement bus.

Important Dates

Activity Date
2020 DERA School Bus Rebates program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov Thursday, October 1, 2020
Webinar for applicants:
Click here to view presentation material
Held Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov
Friday, October 30, 2020
4 p.m. ET
Official selection letters emailed to selectees and list of applicants that were not selected posted online January - February 2021 (Estimated)
Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses April 2021 (Estimated)
Deadline for submitting documentation of delivery of replacement buses and scrappage of old buses. EPA will send rebate payment within one month of receipt of complete materials.  September 2021 (Estimated)

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Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions submitted to DERA@epa.gov through October 22, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.

Eligible Entities

  • Regional, state, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including school districts and municipalities
  • Private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed above
  • Fleets with up to 100 school buses may submit one application listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement
  • Fleets with more than 100 school buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 different buses for scrappage and replacement

Selection Process

  • Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.

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Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

  • Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools
  • Driven 10,000 or more miles over either the last 12 months or calendar year in 2019, or have been in use 3+ days/week between 9/1/2019 and 2/29/2020
  • Owned by applicant without any active liens
  • Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]
  • Buses must be powered by 2006 or older model year engines
  • Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment

Eligible Replacement Buses

  • May not be ordered prior to receiving signed EPA selection letter
  • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine. 
  • Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the bus being replaced
  • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own 
  • Rebate reimbursement is based on the fuel type of the replacement bus:
    • $20,000 for diesel and gasoline
    • $25,000 for propane
    • $30,000 for CNG/LNG
    • $65,000 for battery or hydrogen electric
    • Maximum rebate funding amount per application is $300,000

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