DOE prioritizes access to energy-efficient and affordable housing for all Americans, including more than 20 million Americans who live in manufactured homes. DOE conducts research and provides resources for consumers and other buildings stakeholders on manufactured homes, which is summarized here. Like site-built homes, new manufactured homes can be designed for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Because manufactured homes must comply with different energy standards than site-built homes and are constructed in a factory environment, this sector of the housing industry has its own unique set of challenges. In recent years, the manufactured housing sector has improved energy efficiency through programs like EPA’s ENERGY STAR Manufactured New Homes, while the additional energy-efficiency requirements of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program have been hard to reach for manufacturers.
With passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law August 16, 2022, the section 45L New Energy Efficient Home Credit was increased, modified, and extended for the next 10 years. Beginning January 1, 2023, the revised 45L provides a $5,000 tax credit to builders for most certified DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes, including eligible manufactured homes. An incentivized DOE ZERH certification for manufactured homes is a tremendous opportunity to substantially lower energy bills and improve home durability for millions of low to moderate income American households in coming years.
Pilot Program Development
To take advantage of this new opportunity afforded by the IRA, DOE quickly developed ZERH program requirements for manufactured homes. Due to the condensed time frame, there was insufficient time to conduct a full public review of the new program requirements. Therefore, DOE decided to launch the new DOE ZERH Manufactured Homes National Program Requirements Version 1 as a pilot program – see detailed requirements in the sections below.
The intent of the pilot program is to give manufacturers an immediate path to certification and eligibility for the $5,000 tax credit in 2023, while simultaneously allowing time to conduct research and solicit feedback from all interested stakeholders to improve the program and identify innovative methods and products to help industry participate cost-efficiently in coming years. To that end, subject to appropriations, DOE will be committing resources to support research into manufacturing methods, innovations, and techniques for achieving DOE ZERH certification for manufactured homes in coming years. In addition, DOE will launch a robust stakeholder engagement process on ZERH for manufactured homes in 2023. Email ZERH@doe.gov to comment on the pilot program.
Space Type Eligibility
Only manufactured homes are eligible to be certified through the DOE ZERH Manufactured Homes Program. A manufactured home is a home built in a factory according to the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (24 CFR 3280). A DOE ZERH manufactured home is a home that meets all criteria in the DOE ZERH Manufactured Homes National Program Requirements built in a plant that has been certified by an independent third party.
Site-built and modular single-family homes and multifamily buildings may not earn the DOE ZERH manufactured homes certification but may be eligible for certification through other DOE ZERH programs.
DOE ZERH Manufactured Homes Version 1
Requirements for Third-Party Verification
All ZERH manufactured homes and plants must be certified under the oversight of a recognized quality assurance provider, which is an organization that supervises the third-party inspections required for plant certification, home labeling, and ongoing plant certification and maintenance. The QA provider may fulfill these responsibilities itself, or may use qualified, independent, third-party consultants. Until DOE recognizes QA providers for the Zero Energy Ready Home program, DOE will recognize EPA-recognized QA providers. A list of EPA-recognized QA providers can be found at www.energystar.gov/manufacturedhomes. For more details on ZERH certifications, see the DOE-Recognized Certification Organizations page. This page also contains the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Manufactured Homes Version 1: Certification, Enforcement, and Reporting Guide, which has information regarding the certification, enforcement, and reporting process and requirements for plants assembling DOE ZERH manufactured homes.
Policy record updates will appear here as they are developed following the program's release.