More than 20 million Americans live in manufactured or mobile homes. Many newer models are energy-efficient and of high quality.
“But manufactured homes can be around for a long time and … there’s a spectrum of quality, in terms of insulation,” says Jeannette LeZaks, director of research and innovation at Slipstream, a nonprofit that helps people in underserved communities improve the efficiency of their homes.
She says that providing better weatherization and upgrading HVAC units can help people in older manufactured homes stay more comfortable and save money on their utility bills.
But the upfront costs of these improvements can be prohibitive.
“Typically, those that live in manufactured homes are, are either low- or moderate-income residents, and so they have to make choices about what they’re going to spend their money on,” LeZaks says. “If they’re just getting by, maybe energy efficiency is not the top priority.”
And many residents are unaware of utility programs that can help them afford energy-efficiency upgrades.
So LeZaks says there’s an opportunity for utilities to conduct outreach to manufactured home parks where they can recruit many residents at once. And more people can take advantage of programs that will help them save energy and lower their bills.
Also see: Tips: How to weatherize your home
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media