Palermo Union School District

Located in Northern California, Palermo Union School District serves over 1,200 students from kindergarten to 8th grade.

By leveraging incentives aimed at improving air quality in rural school districts, Palermo deployed five electric school buses to its fleet. Initially they installed one charger and began piloting the use of electric school buses. Through this pilot they learned that they would need more charging infrastructure and a way to manage energy costs.

Customer Highlights

5 Electric School Buses

Avg. 2.8 MWh/month

The installation

Scaling charging needs

When Palermo came to bp pulse they were operating five electric school buses with one charger. This setup made it hard to ensure each bus was ready at the beginning of the day, particularly when the operators had to plug unplug manually to start and end charging. After evaluating their operational needs, we helped install five additional chargers to their site.

Like many school fleets, Palermo was limited to a small lot that also served other fleet vehicles. We helped them design the charging infrastructure to fit within their lot size while still being able to optimize for parking and charging. In addition to site design, we took the hassle out of installation by procuring the EVSE, coordinating with their utility provider, and installing the infrastructure–all with zero-upfront costs to the fleet.

We helped Palermo with:

  • Zero upfront costs
  • Warranty coverage
  • Guaranteed uptime
  • A resilience plan
  • Energy bill management through 2026
We installed five additional chargers for Palermo with no upfront cost.

Managed charging

Cutting costs, not corners

To manage energy costs, Palermo needed a more robust way of managing their charging schedule. After dropping kids home after school, drivers plug in the buses in the early evening letting the buses charge overnight to be ready for the next morning. Without managed charging, Palermo was unknowingly charging at peak utility rate times, resulting in significant energy costs.

By integrating our Omega charge management software, which automates charging for lowest cost, Palermo is now able to shift charging to the overnight off-peak rates, while maintaining their operational schedule. We’ve helped the fleet cut their energy rate in half–they now charge at $0.10/kWH, down from $0.20/kWh.

The effects of Omega charge management:

  • Without managed charging: Palermo paid $0.20/kWH or $2.38/gallon equivalent 
  • With managed charging: Palermo now pays $0.10/kWH or  $1.19/gallon equivalent
With Omega, we’ve helped Palermo cut their energy costs in half.

Project funding

It takes a village

Palermo started its electrification journey with grant funding from the Rural School Bus Pilot Project and PG&E’s EV fleet infrastructure program. To complete their project and keep costs within budget, Palermo worked with bp pulse to secure additional funding from the Butte County Air Quality Management District. The goal of each of these programs is to help school fleets deploy EVs to improve air quality for students and the community, but applying for funding can be time-consuming. We helped the fleet collect the right data and manage the application process to maximize their award opportunity.

bp pulse’s comprehensive and scalable charge management services are taking the planning and management burden off our staff and replacing it with confidence in our fleet’s performance and predictable, fixed fuel pricing.

Carlos Aguilar, Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation
Palermo Union School District

Our products and services

Design and engineering
Charge management

Learn more about our work with Palermo Union School District