Advocate for Clean Energy for Schools
Schools should take advantage new solar and electric energy technologies that reduce and stabilize energy costs and fossil fuel pollution thus creating a healthier environment for students while concurrently providing real-world STEAM learning opportunities.
Electric School Buses
With 480,000 school buses carrying up to 26 million children to school each day, school buses are the largest form of mass transportation in the United States. Approximately 95 percent of America’s school buses, run on diesel fuel including the majority of Virginia's 17,000 school buses. Diesel exhaust is internationally recognized as a cancer-causing agent and poses a unique health risk for students and communities. Replacing diesel buses with electric buses will reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality; save school districts money in gas and maintenance costs and provide a healthier, safer, quieter ride to school for students.
- Electric school buses are 60% less expensive to operate and maintain. The average annual fuel cost per diesel bus: $4,329. Average annual cost to charge an electric bus: $1,650.
- By replacing one diesel school bus with an electric bus, 54,000 pounds of greenhouse gases are avoided per year.
- The Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology allows electric school buses to act as giant batteries, storing energy until it is needed. When energy demands are high or if energy resources are intermittent, the batteries in electric school buses can be tapped to help stabilize the grid and meet demands
- The V2G buses typically have a range of approximately 100-135 miles. Most school system bus routes are typically 30-40 miles in the morning and the same in the afternoon. Typically, it takes 3-4 hours to a completely charge the battery.
- Electric School buses are zero emissions; 100% battery-electric with no tailpipe which reduces exposure to emissions and improves air quality.
- Proterra batteries can be used in second-life applications like stationary energy storage. They can also be separated for recycling, allowing for 100% of aluminum used in the battery pack to be recycled, and recovering 99% of precious metals.
Virginia PTA supports funding, grants and incentive programs that enable school districts to purchase electric school buses and install charging stations and electric transportation infrastructure.
PTA POSITIONS & POLICY LETTERS
- Virginia PTA Resolution: Electric School Buses
RESEARCH & RESOURCES
- Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air
- Electric school buses are coming to Virginia
- Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley Electric Buses
- Proterra Battery and Charging Stations
- "More electric school buses headed to some Virginia counties" Virginia Mercury Nov. 17, 2021
- U.S. School Buses .....Biden’s Infrastructure Plan | Time Article Nov 15, 2021
- "As school year begins, electric school bus plans ..." Virginia Mercury Aug. 20, 2021
- Recap of 2021 General Assembly actions on Electric School Buses | Virginia Mercury March 2, 2021
- Virginia: HB 2118 Virginia Electric Vehicle Grant Fund and Program
- Federal: Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act (Nov 8, 2021): Allocates $2.5 billion for zero-emission school buses and an additional $2.5 billion for school buses that use “alternative” fuels like propane.
- Federal: Clean Commute For Kids Act of 2021
Solar Panels for Schools
The number of Virginia schools embracing solar power has tripled over the past two years because solar offers significant cost savings, clean energy and opportunities for hands-on STEAM lessons. Ninety percent of Virginia's schools use a third party Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Virginia PTA supports legislative action to remove net metering limits and lifting the cap on school use of Power Purchase Agreements to ensure equal access to clean energy solutions for all schools in the state.
- RESOLUTION: Solar for Schools
- Advocacy Tool Kit: Solar Schools Campaign (Generation 180)
- Powering a Brighter Future, A Report on Solar Schools in Virginia
- Virginia schools have seen the light and it's solar
- As schools look to solar, existing state law shuts down further development
QUESTIONS: Email Vice President of Advocacy