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Selling Carbon Credits a Growing Incentive For School Districts

May 26, 2021

School districts in California can help fund the electrification of their bus fleets through selling credits awarded under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and similar options could increasingly be available in other states.

Under the program run by the California Air Resources Board, districts can claim credits based on metric tons of carbon emissions avoided when they operate and charge electric buses. Those credits can be sold on the state’s carbon market—where industries and other entities that emit high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions buy credits to stay in compliance with the standard.

But institutions like Gladstein, Neandross and Associates (GNA) and energy technology company The Mobility House are helping districts tap funds under the LCFS program by incorporating the standard into larger energy plans for schools, facilitating reporting and interacting with the market on districts’ behalf. In the process, they can use innovative, benefit-maximizing strategies like bundling credits from multiple districts and obtaining higher value credits by having schools charge buses when energy demand is low and renewable sources are more likely to be providing the power.

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