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Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’

MHARR’s Mark Weiss Chides the DOE and MHI for their “Buddy System”

June 3rd, 2016 Comments off

m_mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__creditThe Department of Energy (DOE) sent the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) a copy of the  proposed new energy standards rule before its official publication, leading MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach to contact M. Mark Weiss, the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) for his take on the matter.

When asked why the DOE would send the rule before it is published in the Federal Register, Weiss says DOE knows of the opposition in the industry to the rule, plus MHI can put a positive spin on the rule to ameliorate the blow. Weiss notes, no doubt somewhat wryly, DOE would not afford MHARR the same courtesy—probably because he has vehemently opposed the rule from the beginning.

He says the rule adds unnecessary costs to the homes, discriminating against smaller businesses and consumers who will have to pay more, wiping out a chunk of potential buyers.

When Kovach suggested the new rule removes energy efficiency choices from consumers, Weiss responded that it is a one-size fits all approach. He says, “MHARR and other opponents of the rule have shown that today’s manufactured homes are already energy-efficient and that enhanced energy packages are already available on an optional basis for those home buyers who want them. Some home buyers choose to spend their dollars on those optional energy packages, while others choose upgraded kitchens, upgraded bathrooms, upgraded flooring, or other amenities, but that is their choice.”

The National Association of Home Builders did a study that revealed increasing the price of a new manufactured home by $1,000 would rule out 347,901 potential buyers; raising the price of a double-section MH $1,000 would disqualify 315,385 households from being able to afford it.

The DOE Working Group that developed the rule says the added cost to each home should be $2,000 to $4,000, while MHARR says it is more like $6,000 and possibly more.

Says Weiss, “At best, going along and supporting this process reflects bad judgment on the part of MHI. At worst, it amounts to seeking government assistance in hurting the industry’s small businesses.”

He says MHARR will continue to oppose the new rule, and will have an announcement to make, plus comments to the DOE, once the rule is published in the Federal Register.

For the entire interview click here. ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews -M. Mark Weiss)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Commercial Interest in Green Growing, but not for Home Buyers

June 2nd, 2016 Comments off

green dollar lightbulb  construtech creditA survey of 150 homebuyers by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed they have remained consistent in their preferences for green features in their homes and their communities from 2007 to 2015.

Similar to results from previous years, of those surveyed 90 percent said ENERGY STAR were important, while 87 percent saying the same about the windows. Also considered highly desirable was whole home ENERGY STAR rating with insulation above code requirements, reports constructiondive.

Half of the homebuyers were willing to invest in energy efficiency in order to save $1,000.00 in utility expenses, needing a 20 percent rate of return to do so, MHProNews understands.

By contrast, since 2012 energy efficiency and environmental concerns had fallen in importance of for remodeling considerations, as 69% of builders and 78% of remodelers believed customers would pay more for green building features

More than half of the builders who responded anticipate doing over 60 percent of green projects by 2020, while for remodelers the rate was only one-third who predicted doing over 60 percent by 2020.

While residential customers may not be so Gung Ho for Green, commercial building owners are responding to workers who want a company that promotes sustainability and wellness. They realize the importance of attracting the best pool of talent possible, and the long term savings in energy costs. ##

(Image credit:construtech)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Results of Comparable Energy Efficiency in Manufactured Homes Revealed

May 3rd, 2016 Comments off

electric_meter_fotoseach_2_comThe Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) tells MHPronews a three year project undertaken by the Department of Energy (DOE) compared the energy-saving attributes of three lab houses of varying designs tested side-by-side under controlled conditions in Russellville, Ala. The homes were built by Southern Energy Homes, part of the Clayton Homes family.

The first home, Home A, met the minimum standards of the HUD Code. Home B was an ENERGY STAR home. Home C was a high performance home , the nation’s first certified as a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home.

In terms of energy consumption, House C used half the energy of the other two houses for cooling. House B used slightly less energy than House A for cooling. There was virtually no difference in the amount of energy used for heating houses B and C, which amounted to almost one-third of the heating energy consumed by House A.

Because of the added exterior foam insulation, Home C had higher wood moisture content than House B, but still within safe limits. The insulation also resulted in a higher average temperature (5.5 degrees) during the heating season.

Peak demand was lower year-round in Home C than in either A or B. House A peaks were a little higher than those of House B in most months, although in the winter A and B were similar. On average, during peak hours House B had an 18 percent lower peak demand than House A, while House C’s peak demand was 69 percent lower than House A.

Counting only energy efficiency additions, the cost to the manufacturer to build House C compared to House A and B was $2,060 and $1,166, respectively. The price for the consumer to purchase C compared to A or B would be $6,607 and $4,339, respectively. The simple paybacks to the homebuyer associated with building House C compared to House A and House B ranged from approximately 8.8 to 17.5 yr. ##

(Photo credit: fotosearch–electric meter)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Monitors Measure Energy Use in Energy Efficient Modular Home

August 7th, 2015 Comments off

pittsburgh_modular_jasmine_goldband_trib_total_media__creditA company focused on energy efficiency, Ibacos, allied with developer Elliot Fabri Jr.’s EcoCraft Homes, a modular home buildern to erect an infill home on Pittsburgh’s north side. Thirty built-in monitors measure the levels of heat, humidity and CO2 levels, according to triblive. The home uses small, high efficiency heating and cooling systems with small diameter ducts that are built into the walls. Readings can be taken at any time to determine the effectiveness, MHProNews has learned.

The 2,200 square feet home has three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and a third-floor deck that runs alongside the master bedroom. Recycled materials were used to manufacture the modules, and the exterior is covered with Hardie board fiber-cement siding. The first floor is a largely open space for the kitchen, dining and living rooms with large windows and sliding glass doors to allow light.

While EcoCraft’s ecologically centered homes pepper suburban neighborhoods, this is Fabri’s first venture into an urban area, which he hopes to do more of. This home has a fairly modern look, which is what the owners wanted, but Fabri says he can produce a more traditional-look home with the same efficiency measures. ##

(Photo credit: Trib Total Media/Jasmine Goldband–modular home in Pittsburgh)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Virginia Manufactured Home Residents could see Substantial Drop in Utilities

July 16th, 2015 Comments off

electric_meter_fotoseach_2_comBeginning in January 2016, wset-tv informs MHProNews, Virginia customers of Appalachian Power (AEP) will be eligible to participate in five new energy-and cost-saving programs as approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).

These four new residential programs and one targeted to commercial/industrial use are in addition to low income home weatherization and residential air conditioning load-control summer peak demand reduction programs initiated in May of this year.

Similar to programs offered in West Virginia, one of the residential programs would provide incentives to manufacturers of ENERGY STAR® qualified manufactured homes (MH) sold and installed in AEP’s Virginia territory. Jim Fawcett, manager of energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives for AEP, said, “All of these programs offer benefits to our customers through a combination of direct rebates and long-term savings on their bills. Appalachian Power and its customers also benefit through the management of demand growth.

The other residential programs include a walk through assessment with rebates for energy efficient upgrades; $50 to customers for recycled appliances that are picked up; and instant discounts on specific LED lighting at participating retailers, and mail-in rebates on select ENERGY STAR® appliances.

Commercial customers will be entitled to rebates for installing certain energy efficiency upgrades.

Approved by the SCC for three years, the $5.3 million annual cost will be recovered through a Rate Adjustment Clause (RAC) on customer bills beginning in January 2016. The RAC will add less than $.60 to the electric bill of a residential customer using 1000 kilowatt-hours per month. ##

(Photo credit: fotosearch)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily business News-MHProNews.

Interest Growing Worldwide for Manufactured, Modular Housing

May 22nd, 2015 Comments off

mod australia  archdaily dianna snape  victoria 199 modular unitsNoting the worldwide emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency, Global Industry Analysts, Inc. tells MHProNews prefabrication is gaining renewed interest in modern construction, and projects worldwide shipments of off-site homes will reach 1.1 million units by 2020.

The report states: “Today, manufactured homes are one of the most sought after forms of affordable housing, with cost savings realized through the streamlined production process rather than government subsidies. High-performance manufactured housing takes the cost-effectiveness of these constructions a step further by increasing energy efficiency and therefore boosting the ‘lifecycle affordability’ of manufactured homes.

The report says factory-built homes are competing with site-built homes not only in terms of looks and functionality but also offer quick completion time, minimized waste, enhanced quality control, affordability, energy efficient windows and insulation, and are built indoors away from inclement weather and construction site vandalism. The opportunity for solar energy, especially on modular homes, makes them particularly eco-friendly.

Consumer awareness is a major challenge worldwide, and customization is somewhat limited by the size of the sections that can be transported,  but it is a trade-off between economy and design variety.

The report further states Japan represents the single largest market worldwide, in particular for modular homes, when compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, according to pressreleaserocket. ##

(Photo credit: archdaily/Dianna Snape–modular units in Australia)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

MHARR Questions Energy Department rules Governing Manufactured Housing

March 25th, 2015 Comments off

mharr logoOn March 16, a delegation of Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) executives met with U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Dr. Kathleen Hogan, and other officials, to discuss manufactured housing (MH) energy rules under consideration by DOE. MHARR tells MHProNews the rulemaking process by DOE has been tainted from the beginning, aimed to obtain a particular result that would be harmful to the overall MH industry.

Specifically, MHARR says one rule was prematurely leaked to an interested party; and a directive to DOE from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to begin the rulemaking process from the beginning was basically ignored. Further, the DOE negotiated rulemaking would prohibitively raise the costs of MH to the consumer.

In a March 20, 2015 letter to DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, MHARR has asked for a complete internal investigation of the rulemaking process from 2007 to the present by DOE’s Inspector General. Additionally, MHARR wants the opportunity to present relevant materials at a future meeting. For the full report and the letter to Secretary Moniz, please click here. ##

(Image credit: Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com   Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Homes Soar in Energy Efficiency, says University of Michigan

October 31st, 2014 Comments off

value-zonic-mapWhen the temperatures drop in wintertime, owners of Manufactured Homes reap a great benefit, lower heating bills. One of the top trends driving today’s housing market is the demand for energy-efficient homes that don’t sacrifice comfort for quality. Here’s what is trending for 2015 and beyond.

Because of the way manufactured homes are constructed, they usually have about 30 to 50 percent less air leakage than stick-built homes,” Bobby Campbell, director of value engineering for Champion Homes Inc., tells Marketwired and MHProNews. “The University of Michigan did a study a few years ago that tested stick-built homes against manufactured and modular homes and found that the manufactured homes were ‘tighter’ than stick-built homes.”

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) explains that part of the reason modern manufactured homes may leak less air than conventional construction is because they are built to a special national code that site-built homes are not. Based on manufactured home construction and safety standards set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, different regions of the country fall under thermal categories determined by their climates. Michigan is located in thermal Zone 3, which mandates the strictest heat leakage protection.

MMHA states that in addition to the national and state codes manufactured homes are required to meet, many homeowners are choosing energy efficient features to keep their homes better protected against the cold. Special insulation, high-performance windows and other materials are reducing overall energy costs and use fewer natural resources, which is a perk for many environmentally and budget conscious homeowners. ##

 (Photo credits: HUD Code data plate – Colorado.gov)

michael-francis-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-(Submitted by Michael Francis to Daily Business News – MHProNews.)

 

Energy Efficient Manufactured Home could Save Thousands Annually

September 8th, 2014 Comments off

energy auditor ken cantara  seacoastonlineWith half a million manufactured homes in the northwest, and over 200,000 in Washington state, an energy efficient manufactured home prototype funded by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County, and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) could help northwest utilities meet future energy conservation goals. The home, built for a family buying it through Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership program, features a ductless heat pump and heat pump water heater, efficient lighting, triple-glazed windows, exterior foam sheathing and beefed up insulation. This level of energy efficiency can save up to 50 percent of heating and cooling expenses over a typical manufactured home, according to bothell-reporter.

“Manufactured homes built to this new high-performance spec have durability and performance features that could change opinions about factory-built homes and be an integral part of our super-efficient 21st century utility system,” said Christopher Dymond of Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction” program, and includes Community Frameworks, Ecotope, Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star New Homes Program, Manufactured Housing Associations and Washington State University. MHProNews understands that more and more MH will be built with similar cost savings features, especially if energy costs rise faster than MH production costs. ##

(Editor’s Note: more information about the NEEA and super-efficient manufactured homes are linked here.)

(Photo credit: seacoastonline.com–Ken Cantara, energy auditor)

Mobile Home Energy Makeover Contest Winner, Timely Tips

August 27th, 2014 Comments off

infrared-polystyrene-foam-cools-roof=aecc-posed-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-

Manufactured home owner Connie Jeffries, a home health aid and member of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative, won an energy efficiency makeover for her house, ECT Coop tells MHProNews. “They’ve already installed the new roof, windows, water heater, patio door and the geothermal heat pump system,” Jefferies said. “My son has asthma so this is going to make a huge difference in the comfort of our home, and it’s quieter too.”

About 15% of Arkansas residents live in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or manufactured homes; some of these have high energy usage, Bret Curry, manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, said.

“Our diagnostic testing revealed that 50 percent of the air volume within the home was leaking to the outside,” Curry explained.  “We found that much of the insulation had not been installed right, and several areas of the floor were not insulated at all.”

The makeover team also found condensation around the windows regularly leaked into window wells, causing corrosion and rot. Identifying such issues and performing updates can make the difference for enhanced comfort as well as lower utility bills. ##

(Photo by AECC: infrared photo taken before the aluminum sheeting was installed shows roof appears cooler in areas covered by polystyrene foam.)