Region works together to manufacture new savings in Manufactured Homes

Region works together to manufacture new savings in Manufactured Homes

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), NEEA, Northwest electric utilities and other partners are collaborating with nine Northwest-based manufactured home builders to demonstrate the benefits of a higher standard for newly constructed manufactured homes and assist each manufacturer in their design.

A manufactured home built to an advanced high-performance specification can save up to 50 percent on heating and cooling costs when compared to typical manufactured homes.

BPA and NEEA are funding the construction and monitoring of eight prototype high-high performance manufactured homes.  These homes incorporate some of the latest energy-saving features and technology, including ductless heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, efficient lighting, triple-glazed windows, foam sheathing on exterior walls and added insulation. The first four completed prototypes are located in Bothell, Toledo and Pullman, Washington and in Otis, Oregon, with another four homes planned throughout the region in the next few months. The purpose of building these homes is to give manufactures experience on building with these new technologies, evaluate costs and best practices and to validate modeled energy savings.

Historically, the Northwest has been very active in supporting advancement of manufactured homes.  In the mid-1990s, BPA and regional utilities created the Manufactured Home Acquisition Program (MAP), which resulted in successfully recruiting manufactured home factories to build only Super Good Cents homes. This eventually led to the creation of the Northwest Energy Efficient Manufactured (NEEM) Housing program, also called the Northwest Energy Star rating for manufactured homes. NEEM homes consistently maintain 55% market share of new manufactured homes, providing ongoing energy savings. 

The U.S. Department of Energy is currently facilitating the negotiation of a new minimum energy efficiency standard for manufactured homes.  Once this is in place, the region is set up to repeat the success of earlier market transformation by helping the manufacturers start building to a new voluntary efficiency level and leverage the existing NEEM program infrastructure.

To learn more, or to follow developments in this market, see the Manufactured Homes Interest Group on Conduit.