Hempfield Contracts with Rhoads Energy to Continue Fueling Propane Bus Fleet for Next Three Years

Hempfield School District announced that it has renewed its contract with Rhoads Energy, a Lancaster-based energy company, to provide the fuel for the district’s fleet of 88 propane-powered school buses. The agreement will result in an annual savings of $165,000 for Hempfield over the previous propane contract.

Under terms of the new three-year agreement, Rhoads Energy will continue to provide propane storage services and delivery of propane to the district’s fueling site. The Hempfield School Board based its decision on qualifications, price and the success of the initial partnership with Rhoads Energy. In addition to supplying the district’s propane, Rhoads Energy developed the district’s on-site propane station that pumps 1,000 gallons every school day.

In 2014, Hempfield became the first district in the region to convert its transportation fleet to propane. Propane buses are cleaner, quieter and cost far less to operate than diesel buses. Since then, Rhoads Energy has helped other districts in the state convert to propane fleets.

“Hempfield School District is pleased to continue working with Rhoads Energy, which has been a valuable partner since the beginning of the conversion process,” said Dan Forry, Chief Operating Officer. “The switch to propane has resulted in savings for taxpayers and advantages for our students.”

Propane currently costs one third as much as diesel, which could save the district more than $2 million in fuel over five years. The district’s new buses are also cheaper to maintain than their diesel counterparts.  In addition, propane buses also reduce smog-producing hydrocarbon emissions by 80% and are 50% quieter than traditional buses, which is better for both students and the environment.

Propane buses have been fueled and operated safely in other districts for more than 30 years, and today there are more than seven million propane-fueled vehicles on the road in Europe. They use the same fuel many homeowners store in their backyard for grilling, and the fuel tank on a propane bus is 20 times more puncture-resistant than a gasoline tank.