DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — State Auditor of Iowa Rob Sand is urging Iowa school districts to take advantage of a $500 million plan to put more electric school buses on America’s roads.

The money is being administered by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The money is being offered to school districts to buy zero or low-emission school buses and retire their current diesel-operated fleets.

Applications for the program are only open for one more month. On Monday, Sand encouraged more districts to apply for their share of federal dollars at a time whenever every dollar counts. “Now that inflation is a problem and we are dealing with high fuel prices constantly, this could be incredibly promising program for a lot of school districts to be able to save a good amount of money,” Sand said.

Sand says that more than 200 school districts in Iowa meet the criteria to apply for the funding. Applications are being taken by the EPA through August 19th.

With the current state of fuel prices, and their impact on the larger economy, Sand says now is the perfect time for districts to consider an electric fleet that could save even more money in the long term. ” funds to move to cleaner fleets. There’s a lot of benefits to that. Number one, you’re not going to be dealing with fuel prices the same way because your fleet can be operated off of batteries instead,” Sand said.