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north carolina sep success story
Photo Credit: North Carolina State Energy Office, 2019

Upgrading household heating and cooling systems tends to come with daunting upfront price tags. With the help of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) State Energy Program, North Carolina is making ENERGY STAR upgrades to new manufactured homes possible for more homeowners.

DOE’s State Energy Program (SEP) provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. SEP emphasizes the state’s role as the decision maker and administrator for program activities within the state that are tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.

North Carolina’s Upgrade and Save Program (U&S) provides new, ENERGY STAR certified manufactured homes with energy-efficient heat pumps to supplement the factory-installed electric furnaces that are standard heating systems in manufactured homes. The U&S Program serves 52 eastern North Carolina counties from Interstate 95 to the Atlantic Coast, with approximately 25 manufactured-home retailers participating.

An East Carolina University analysis of electricity use in ENERGY STAR certified manufactured homes with heat pumps versus electric furnaces shows that heat pumps save the homeowner an average of $630 per year. The U&S Program improves the standard of living for eastern North Carolina’s low-to-moderate income citizens with manufactured homes by reducing heating and cooling costs and reducing emissions from electric generations.

One participating manufactured homes retailer stated, “Through [the U&S] program, it is easier for us as a retailer to ensure all of the ENERGY STAR upgrades are made to the new manufactured home. This allows us to put more homeowners in a more energy-efficient home even if their budget would not typically allow for those upgraded costs. I applaud everyone’s efforts with this program for the benefit of the local residents of eastern North Carolina.”