• David Olson

Are Manufactured Homes Energy Efficient

Back in the day if you bought a mobile home and moved to the friendly village mobile home park West Covina CA you would have a pretty inefficient home. Not because of the location but because of the home standards. Specifically before 1970’s, where manufactured homes would have as high or higher energy rates as your regular stick built home. But as times moved forward so did the efficiency but are they efficient enough to be qualified as energy efficient housing.

Back in the 1970’s the average mobile home lot rent was affordable! That helped make manufactured homes pretty popular for getting into home ownership but the monthly cost was a little different. Back then manufactured homes were not held to a standard when it came to insulation, power utilization, and space usability. This caused utility bills to be way higher than standard built homes that had certain standards applied to them. That was the case until 1976.

When 1976 came around the federal government stepped in and applied stricter standards on manufactured homes. This was called the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act. This also changed the official name from mobile home to manufactured homes. This caused all mobile homes to be built having some sort of standard making utility prices a bit more uniform. Then as time went on and technology increased in stick built homes manufactured home owners wanted the same reflected in their housing. By time 1990 came around the HUD code, the group who regulates mobile homes, started to be revised. These revisions made it so mobile homes became even more efficient and also made them safer. They made sure these homes were wind resistant and fireproof turning mobile homes into a complete package when it comes to housing. This was applied to all manufactured homes because no home could be shipped without following these codes.

Even after all these code changed manufactured homes still had higher energy bills payments than home loans for mobile homes. This is when ACEEE, a group studying these findings, started making these issues more public and changes came around. In 2016 standards were revisited again to make manufactured homes even more efficient, 27% more efficient to be exact. These changes made all mobile homes increase insulation and even applying it underneath the home and to the skirting, Increase sealing of the home through caulking placement and ductwork, standardizing modern water heaters, and replacing all entrance ways to be more modern.

Now in 2020 mobile homes are just as energy efficient as your standard home and in many cases more efficient. In the not too distant past manufactured homes were not energy efficient. Whatever you paid to save from buying a standard stick built home went into utilities for a manufactured home. But now for energy efficiency manufactured homes are definitely the best option.


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