Skip to content

Alternative Fuel Columns

Read the "On the Money" columns from our Texas Stimulus site:

>> Propane is 'King of the Hill' (01/06/10)

>> Alternative fuels: Topping off the tank (9/15/09)

Transportation Efficiency Program
$17 Million

In order to meet the goals of SEP/ARRA, the purpose of this program was to create or retain jobs, increase transportation efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on foreign oil through a competitive grants process. Public entities were able to submit proposals through two projects:

Eligible entities were governmental entities and included units of state and local government, public schools, public colleges and universities, public hospitals and government-owned utilities. This program was based on the directives and initiatives of the DOE Energy Efficiency program and enhance SECO's Clean Cities program activities. All proposals were weighted based on jobs created.


Alternative Fuels Project

In order to create or retain jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state and dependence on foreign oil, the purpose of this program was to provide for a competitive grants process to pay for incremental costs related to the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles and/or equipment necessary for the development of alternative fuel refueling stations for governmental entities. Eligible entities included units of state and local government, public schools, public colleges and universities, public hospitals and governmental utilities.

Awarded Projects
As of April 29, 2010, the Comptroller awarded competitive federal stimulus grants to the following governmental entities:

Award Amount Governmental Entities
$3,092,080 Railroad Commission of Texas
$2,500,000 North Central Texas Council of Governments
$924,000 City of Laredo
$607,209 City of Austin
$500,000 City of Houston
$400,000 City of Corpus Christi Gas Department
$256,000 City of El Paso
$200,000 University of Texas at Austin
$107,800 City of Dumas
$90,000 City of San Antonio
$56,000 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
$15,237.50 Port of Corpus Christi Authority

Reimbursement and Selection Criteria

Retrofit and refueling projects will be reimbursed at the following levels: see details

  • Up to 80% of the incremental cost of hybrid electric vehicles as compared to conventional OEM vehicles.
  • Up to 80% of the incremental cost of an Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) purchase price is eligible for funding. AFVs are defined as light and heavy-duty vehicles that operate on CNG, LNG, LPG, or electricity. Original Equipment Manufacturer and EPA certified conversions are eligible.
  • Diesel retrofits technologies that have been verified or certified by the U.S. EPA, CARB or other such boards/agencies are eligible for funding. Diesel retrofits include: engine re-powering (with alt fuel use), after-burn technologies but does not include fuel additives.
  • Up to 80% of the cost of alternative fuel refueling infrastructure may be reimbursed. The value of land and existing related equipment may be considered as part of the required 20% match. Fair market land value must be stated when used as cost share. Old, outdated refueling infrastructures may not be used as cost share. Only equipment that will be directly used in the proposed project, like the value of an existing underground storage tank to store E85 that will be dispensed through refueling equipment is eligible to be used as cost share.

Process and Selection Criteria: see details

  • Governmental entities eligible;
  • Request for Applications announcement with a cut-off date for submittal;
  • Cost-reimbursement based contracts;
  • Biofuel projects must use Texas grown/harvested/collected crops;
  • Selection Committee will consist of internal SECO program experts and external participants;
  • Incremental costs per vehicle at between $4,000 for small/medium duty and $8,000 for heavy duty;
  • Refueling infrastructure grants are capped at $400,000;
  • Land purchases and construction are expressly prohibited;
  • Affidavit provided by the Comptroller of Public Accounts must be signed;
  • Projects involving the installation of alternative fuel refueling infrastructure may need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) as required by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These requirements will be communicated by SECO to potential applicants during the RFP phase. Ready-to-go projects that fall under this category and already have their EIS completed will receive immediate consideration for funding.
  • Applications scored by the following:
    • Ready to go projects given priority;
    • Preference given to projects completed within 12 – 18 months;
    • 20% match required (funds leveraged);
    • Projected greenhouse gas emissions reduction;
    • Projected number of jobs created (permanent jobs more points); and
    • Projected energy savings.

Traffic Signal Project

This program was for cities, counties and state entities involving the synchronization of traffic signals through the installation, updating and/or maintenance of traffic synchronization technologies and/or the replacement of traffic signal lights with LEDs. Types of projects funded included signal retiming, replacement of LEDs in old units, purchasing new signals, replacement of existing traffic signal control hardware and accommodating enhanced signal operations, and monitoring new signal timings to ensure the synchronization plan is working correctly.

Awarded Projects
As of April 29, 2010, the Comptroller awarded federal stimulus grants to the following cities and county:

Award Amount City/County
$2,061,978.39 City of Beaumont
$1,856,000 City of Bedford
$750,000 City of Fort Worth
$419,900 City of Grand Prairie
$392,500 City of Allen
$373,866 City of Bryan
$362,500 City of North Richland Hills
$308,688 City of Cedar Hill
$308,000 City of Grapevine
$270,080 City of Killeen
$191,195.61 Montgomery County
$166,880 City of Missouri City
$134,400 City of Frisco
$100,000 City of Brownsville
$86,400 City of Cedar Park
$28,000 City of Waco

Process and Selection Criteria: see details

  • Cities, counties and/or state agencies;
  • Request for Applications announcement with a cut-off date for submittal;
  • Require eligible entities to conduct regular maintenance/retiming of signals as part of grant approval;
  • Post-reporting to SECO;
  • Cost-reimbursement based contracts;
  • Selection Committee will consist of internal SECO program experts and external participants;
  • Affidavit provided by the Comptroller of Public Accounts must be signed; and,
  • Applications will be scored by the following criteria:
    • Ready-to-go projects given priority;
    • Preference given to projects located within cities and counties that are in non-attainment or near non-attainment for national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS);
    • 20% match required (funds leveraged);
    • Priority given to projects completed within 12 – 18 months; 
    • Conduct Institute of Transportation Engineers "report card" to determine need as part of application for traffic light synchronization;
    • Street lane-miles synchronized;
    • Projected energy savings;
    • Projected greenhouse gas emissions reduction; and,
    • Projected number of jobs created/retained (permanent jobs more points).
Required Plug-ins