#TIL: Make money by trading carbon: The Story behind schools electrifying their fleet

By Nandini Derasari

Electric school bus operated by Ocean View School District in Oxnard, California. Source: School Transport News

Isn’t it interesting that electrifying buses not only helps reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions but also helps in earning money? The initiative taken by the California state government in the US to mitigate GHG emissions is a new way to encourage schools to electrify their buses.

The schools of the districts can claim carbon credits based on metric tons of carbon emissions avoided when they operate and charge electric buses. This Cap-and-Trade programme is run by the California Air Resource Board. Schools can sell their carbon credits in the market under the state’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)”. Through this interesting mechanism, industries in the state that emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases can buy these credits to maintain their emission standard. The School Bus Replacement Program helps to accelerate the adoption of electric buses. Inspired by this initiative, schools are now making investment plans to electrify their fleet. This also leads to developing a healthy environment and reducing the child’s exposure to diesel emissions.

Pittsburg Unified School District near San Francisco earned about $5,000 in revenue under this programme.

The funds collected from carbon credits ought to be used to reduce carbon emissions under the LCFS. Buying charging equipment or enrolling in an EV training program are suggested alternatives by the government for reinvestment. These benefits can be maximized by: acquiring higher value credits by charging school buses when energy demand is low or charging with renewable energy sources (solar, wind power) and bundling credits from several districts.

Today I Learnt (TIL) is a weekly series by OMI that brings you interesting nuggets of information that you didn’t know you needed.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates.

Ola’s in-house policy research and social innovation think-tank! Follow for latest mobility insights and conversations. For website, visit https://ola.institute