Three similar-looking manufactured homes in a community.
Southern Energy Homes constructed the first DOE Zero Energy Ready certified manufactured home, and DOE collected 15 months of performance data on it, a HUD code home, and an ENERGY STAR home.
Southern Energy Homes

DOE prioritizes access to energy-efficient and affordable housing for all Americans, including the more than 20 million Americans who live in manufactured homes. DOE funds research, demonstration, and field validation of energy-efficient construction methods; supports adoption of energy-efficient technologies and construction practices by manufacturers; and is collaborating with other federal agencies, states and utilities to support initiatives that make energy-efficient manufactured homes affordable for homebuyers.

DOE is launching the Manufactured Housing Energy Efficiency and Affordability Initiative to assist states and other partners in improving access to energy-efficient manufactured homes across the United States by creating lower cost financing options for chattel loans. The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), along with the following state energy offices, are participating in this initiative:

DOE and NASEO will collaborate with the participating states to share best practices and develop strategies and mechanisms for making financing and ownership of energy-efficient manufactured homes more affordable and accessible. For example, states can use their State Energy Program funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to establish mechanisms, such as loan loss reserves, to improve access and affordability for borrowers seeking to purchase a manufactured home.

State and local housing agencies, CDFIs, credit unions, and other financial institutions can tap into these funds to reduce risks they face in financing manufactured homes. Residents and nonprofit organizations can also work with states to finance resident-owned community models, which enable a pathway to home ownership for residents in manufactured home communities.

More specifically, the Manufactured Home Energy Efficiency and Affordability Initiative will work to:

  • Address the high cost of heating and cooling manufactured homes, especially for residents in underserved communities and households facing high energy burdens and energy insecurity.
  • Create lower-cost, public-private financing options for energy-efficient manufactured home purchases, such as low-interest loan programs, down payment assistance, loan loss reserves and other forms of credit enhancement to make manufactured home loans more accessible and affordable.
  • Improve and expand manufactured homebuyer education materials for home purchase, financing and energy-efficiency options.
  • Create opportunities for manufactured homeowners to replace their homes with more energy-efficient ones, or to improve their existing homes’ energy efficiency to lower energy costs.
  • Improve the availability of affordable, energy-efficient housing options and promote workforce development opportunities in local communities where manufactured homes are constructed and installed.

DOE, working in collaboration with NASEO, will engage state energy offices and other partners, provide technical assistance and guidance, facilitate outreach to lenders and other federal agencies, coordinate engagement of external stakeholders, and develop replicable state policy and program models to ensure access to affordable, efficient, manufactured homes nationwide.

 

State energy offices interested in participating in this effort should contact Maddie Koewler, senior program manager, Buildings at NASEO, at mkoewler@naseo.org.

Research

Through the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) program, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is funding an effort to develop and demonstrate designs that meet new efficiency requirements while optimizing production processes and reducing manufacturing costs.

DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just published Energy in Modular Methods [EMOD]: A Guide to Design for Energy Efficiency in Industrialized Construction of Factory Built Buildings. The guide is intended to introduce builders to process improvements that can save time and money while making homes more efficient, affordable, and resilient. The guide is applicable to any factory-built construction approach including modular and manufactured homes. The guide applies Design for Energy Efficiency in Industrialized Construction – an approach that leverages design for manufacturing and assembly principles to streamline workflows of integrated product design and productivity modeling, from design to prototyping to manufacturing stages.

In 2016, DOE EERE published a report, Field Evaluation of Advances in Energy-Efficiency Practices for Manufactured Homes, which detailed a study that examined three side-by-side manufactured homes built to different specifications: ENERGY STAR, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, and minimum code.  The side-by-side approach allowed researchers to compare innovative technologies such as ductless mini-splits to more conventional HVAC systems to examine energy savings, cost savings, and other process improvements.

Already Own or Live in a Manufactured Home?

If you’re interested in making your current manufactured home more efficient, visit the DOE Energy Saver website for helpful tips and resources on how to make your home more efficient, or contact your utility service provider to learn about programs and incentives that may be available to you.