School Bus Rebates: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)
NEW: For more information on funding opportunities for clean and zero-emission school buses, learn about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Clean School Bus Program.
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2010 (PDF) (7 pp, 133 K , January 2011, About PDF) allows 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.
For 2021, in addition to the annual DERA School Bus Rebates detailed below, EPA is offering separate rebates for electric school bus replacements in underserved communities funded by the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP).
For more details on the 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates, including a table comparing the two programs, click here.
On this page:
2021 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 2021 DERA School Bus Rebates will offer approximately $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.
|2021 DERA School Bus Rebates program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to DERARebates@epa.gov||Wednesday, September 29, 2021|
Held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021
2:00 PM EST
|Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to DERARebates@epa.gov||
Friday, November 5, 2021
|Official selection letters emailed to selectees||Monday, February 28, 2022|
|Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses||Tuesday, May 31, 2022|
|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.||
Friday, October 28, 2022
Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents
- 2021 DERA and ARP School Bus Rebates Webinar (pdf)
- 2021 DERA School Bus Rebates Applicant Waitlist (pdf)
- 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates Program Guide (pdf)
2021 DERA School Bus Rebates Payment Request Form (pdf)
- Please right-click to save the Payment Request Form pdf to your computer and then open in Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may run into errors if trying to open the pdf in your web browser.
- 2021 DERA School Bus Rebates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - November 3rd, 2021 (pdf)
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions submitted to DERA@epa.gov through Thursday, October 28, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.
- Regional, state, local, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including public 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
Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.
Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced
- Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools
- Diesel school buses powered by a 2006 or older model year engine;
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 lbs or more;
- Owned by the applicant or state government without any liens on the title;
- Operational - Able to start, move in all directions, and have all operational parts; and
- Have accumulated at least 10,000 or more miles transporting students over either the previous 12 months or calendar year (Jan.-Dec.) 2019, or been in use for at least four days per week on average transporting students between 9/1/2019 and 2/29/2020.
Eligible Replacement Buses
- Must not be ordered prior to receiving signed EPA selection letter;
- Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine, or operate solely on electricity;
- Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own;
- Not funded with any other federal funds or Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds;
- Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the original school bus; and
- Meet Federal safety standards.
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