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Massachusetts Funding Opportunities for Electric School Buses

A note from Green Energy Consumers: Every now and then, we like to feature a guest blog on our website. With this blog, we’re happy to feature Milia Chamas and Orly Strobel from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, who’ll tell you all about current opportunities for funding for electric school buses in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts public school districts are some of the earliest adopters of electric school buses in the country, with over 120 electric school buses either operating or procured across the Commonwealth. With new federal and state funding programs such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean School Bus Program, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)’s Accelerating Clean Transportation (ACT) School Bus Program, the transition to electric school buses is easier than ever!



Want the webinar version of this blog? Watch this recent webinar Green Energy Consumers Alliance participated in with MassCEC, the Massachusetts Clean Cities Coordinator, and Highland Electric.


Why go electric now?

pro-kKjzRKfqSince the first Massachusetts electric school bus pilots in 2005, the industry has seen significant technology and market improvements. Electric school buses are evolving at an incredible rate, with models available from almost every major manufacturer that services Massachusetts. While electric school bus projects continue to be costly and complex, there are a myriad of solutions that schools can implement to mitigate these burdens:  

Reducing Project Complexity  

  • Speak to your utilities early: Both National Grid and Eversource provide fleet electrification offerings to their customers. If your school district is in National Grid territory, you may be eligible to get up to 100% of your charging infrastructure upgrades covered. Eversource’s EV charging program for heavy-duty vehicles like school buses is already fully subscribed, but if you’re an Eversource customer, you can still take advantage of its fleet advisory services program!    
  • Consider using a 3rd party: Turnkey, or electrification-as-a-service providers, take the burden off of school districts by helping to install, operate, and maintain both the vehicles and the chargers
  • MassCEC Offerings: keep reading to learn more about ACT School Bus Advisory Services!

Funding Opportunities


How can MassCEC support you? 

Kids with electric school bus-1To support electric school bus adoption across Massachusetts, MassCEC is currently administering the Accelerating Clean Transportation (ACT) School Bus Program. Since 2022, MassCEC has deployed a total of $18.3 million in grant funding to support all Massachusetts school districts that received Clean School Bus funding, and a school district that received DERA funding! The Program advances school bus fleet electrification by providing technical planning services and financial support to Massachusetts public school districts. ACT School Bus is divided into two program opportunities, the Advisory Services Program and the Fleet Deployment Program. Public schools in Massachusetts can participate through the following actions:  

  • Sign up for the Advisory Services Program - Offers free consultant services to help public schools plan for full-fleet electrification. This program is a great first step for school districts and third-party fleet operators who are interested in electrification but are not quite sure where to start. There are currently 17 slots available for school districts and/or eligible third parties to enroll in the program. Each school district will receive a customized fleet electrification plan and hands-on assistance from a team of experts. If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email Alex Pine ( 
  • Apply for the Fleet Deployment Program - The Fleet Deployment Program offers flexible funding as well as free technical assistance services to public school districts. MassCEC is currently accepting applications from public school districts, including districts partnered with third-party fleet operators, for up to $2.5 million in funding for electric school buses and related infrastructure. The funding is intended to complement the 2023 EPA Clean School Bus Grant Program and ensure successful deployment projects across the Commonwealth. Interested school districts should review the Request for Proposals (RFP) for more information on how to apply. The deadline to submit applications is January 11th, 2024. MassCEC also anticipates releasing a solicitation in Spring 2024 to complement the open 2023 EPA Clean School Bus Rebate. 

Want a fuller overview? Watch the Fleet Deployment Program Webinar Recording - MassCEC hosted an ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Application Webinar on November 30th, 2023. During the webinar, MassCEC provided an overview of the program, instruction on how to apply, and held a Q&A session at the end. Learn more about this program opportunity here! 


Is your public school district eligible for ACT School Bus?  

Yes! Public school districts across Massachusetts, including those that work with third-party fleet operators, are eligible applicants under both the ACT School Bus Advisory Services Program and the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Program. MassCEC intends to showcase that public school districts with any ownership model can achieve and benefit from electrification and encourage school districts to partner with their third-party fleet operators for the ACT School Bus program! Third-party fleet operators are also welcome to apply directly to ACT School Bus on behalf of a Massachusetts school district.  

MassCEC is committed to a just and equitable electric school bus transition that will prioritize school districts listed under the official EPA Clean School Bus Priority List, as well as other Environmental Justice Communities (EJCs), rural communities, and underserved communities for the ACT School Bus Program.  


Massachusetts School Districts in the ACT School Bus Program 

In December 2022, MassCEC awarded six public school districts with funding and technical assistance services under the first round of the Fleet Deployment Program, run in conjunction with the FY22 EPA Clean School Bus Rebate programming. Currently, these school districts have begun construction and the procurement of their buses and chargers and are set to meet their EPA targets, each with a different approach to fit their individual needs: 

  • Fall River Public Schools is deploying 10 electric school buses and 5 fast chargers with $2M from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment and $3.9M from EPA Clean School Bus  
  • New Bedford Public Schools is deploying 14 electric school buses, 4 Ford Transit vans, and 14 fast chargers with $1.97M from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment and $5.53M from EPA Clean School Bus 
  • Lawrence Public Schools is deploying 35 electric school buses and 3 fast chargers with $2M from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment and $9.9M from EPA Clean School Bus 
  • The Lower Pioneer Valley Education Collaborative is deploying 25 electric school buses and 28 fast chargers with $2M from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment and $9.9M from EPA Clean School Bus  
  • Upper Cape Regional Technical School is deploying 3 electric school buses and 3 fast chargers with $1.48M from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment and $395K from EPA Clean School Bus  
  • Quincy Public Schools is deploying 4 electric school buses and a mix of chargers with $355K from the ACT School Bus Fleet Deployment Program and $260 from the EPA DERA Program 

MassCEC has also enrolled several public school districts in the Advisory Services Program including Boston, Worcester, and Springfield!  


How to get involved 

The best way to help electrification efforts is to spread the word and educate others on this up-and-coming technology. Raise the possibility of electrification at your local school board meetings or town council meetings. Electrification is the future: help your town be an early adopter of electric school bus technology that will lead to cleaner, quieter, and healthier communities! 

Key Resources: 

If you’re looking to get involved with MassCEC’s ACT School Bus Programming, don’t hesitate to reach out to for any questions or further information!