ProCOT discusses benefits of reaching out to school districts on autogas

August 11, 2015 By    

School busNearly 2,500 school buses run on propane autogas in Texas, according to the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT). The organization reports that more than 70 school districts of the 1,031 in the state of Texas have committed to the fuel.

Jackie Mason, ProCOT’s education and marketing director, says the association has tried to be more aggressive when reaching out to schools and their transportation departments the past few years.

“We’ve been going to transportation trade shows and state school board meetings to share information on the autogas market with them,” she says.

Mason adds that several retailers in Texas have seen benefits of reaching out to school districts, including Northwest Propane in Carrollton, Texas. Northwest Propane has converted a number of school buses in the state.

When reaching out to school districts to promote autogas, Mason says school board officials and transportation directors often ask for case studies or success stories.

“Showing transportation directors case studies on why other schools chose propane autogas, along with contact information to learn more about that experience firsthand, is a good selling point,” she says.

Explaining the environmental benefits of autogas to school districts also helps to persuade them to switch to autogas. Mason says companies and associations should share information on savings that come from using a more environmentally safe fuel.

Mason also recommends retailers and associations try to find grants or incentives for school districts if they consider converting to autogas. She says a website from the U.S. Department of Energy lists various grants by state for school districts that choose to use alternative fuel vehicles.

“I know a big thing that prevents schools in Texas from committing to autogas is that they are strapped for cash,” she says. “Even though autogas is a low-cost fuel, it can’t hurt to provide them with an incentive. That way, propane autogas is a no-brainer for the school district.”

About the Author:

Megan Smalley was an associate editor at LP Gas magazine.

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