Manufactured homes provide an affordable housing option for many people. But older manufactured homes are often poorly insulated, so residents may spend a large portion of their income on energy bills.

Making their homes more energy efficient can help reduce that financial burden.

“And I think it’s such a win-win because you can improve lives … and fight climate change at the same time,” says Joel Haskard of Clean Energy Resource Teams, a project of the University of Minnesota Extension.

A few years ago, Haskard’s group started energy-efficiency outreach to manufactured home parks.

“We kind of felt like they were a left-out segment of the population, that they didn’t see themselves as part of a climate solution,” he says.

To engage them, Haskard’s team hires a resident in each park to help organize an event.

At the events, people can enjoy food, get information and supplies – like LED bulbs – and sign up for weatherization services.

“The secret sauce is developing a trusting and working relationship where they are a leader in their own energy journey,” Haskard says.

So far, over 1,300 households have participated and made changes that can lower their bills and help the climate.

Read: How to apply for free energy-efficiency upgrades for your home

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media