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Posts Tagged ‘energy star’

Steve Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE, Marking “Energy Efficiency Day”

October 5th, 2017 Comments off
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Photo credit, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL. Photo from the Digital Journal, but also found on dozens of other mainstream media and special interest websites.

Today is the second annual Energy Efficiency Day, a time to celebrate the incredible benefits of saving energy,” said Steve Nadel Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, lower consumer bills, reduce pollution, and boost community resilience,” Nadel told MHProNews in a statement today. “Plus, it’s an economic engine, supporting at least 2.2 million US jobs in manufacturing, construction, and other fields.”

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MHProNews – along with our sister trade media site, MHLivingNews – have promoted the benefits of energy savings, and “green” construction in manufactured homes for years.  Editorially, we’ve also noted and respected the rationale of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which has pointed out the need for consumers and the marketplace – not federal officials – to determine what level of energy savings vs. initial costs makes sense for a given household.

Green, Energy Star HUD Code Builders

There are numerous HUD Code manufactured home producers – such sponsor Sunshine Homes, of Red Bay, AL – that build Energy Star ® rated homes.  Sunshine boasts building only homes that meet those higher standards, while offering residential style homes that are about half the cost of conventional building in the markets they serve.

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Other, like the report linked here, are promoting solar units, which are more pricey, but still are finding a market niche.

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Photo credits are as shown above, collage and text credits, MHProNews.com. All third party content is shown under fair use guidelines.

Millennials prefer green, but studies make it clear that there is no age or demographic group that is looking to pay more for utilities.

Hundreds of organizations and companies from around the world are participating in today’s event. More than a dozen cities, counties, and states—from coast to coast—have officially declared October 5th as Energy Efficiency Day,” Nadel said. ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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Closer Look, VERMOD’s ZEM= Zero Energy Modular – ‘Manufactured Home Replacement’

June 27th, 2017 Comments off
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Photo credits are as shown above, collage and text credits, MHProNews.com. All third party content is shown under fair use guidelines.

Being “green” is all the rage for millions of Americans.  Indeed, sustainability is good – and all forms of modern factory building are demonstrably more sustainable than their on-site built counterparts tend to be.  Just the reduction in wasted materials, which sources say runs about 30 percent, is significant for the environment and for holding down the costs of construction.

In some states, such as California, being green is a looming mandate. For example, GreenTechMedia reports that in CA,  “By 2020, the hope is that the state’s Codes and Standards board will regulate ZNE homes [Zero Net Energy]. As with any ambitious project, the devil is in the details.”

 

In Vermont, VERMOD is making news with their ZEM.

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ZEM is short for Zero Energy Modular.  It’s designed to do as claimed, saving their home owners significant dollars on the energy usage side (see chart further below).

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To get some clarity on the facts not covered by mainstream media reports, MHProNews contacted the builders of the ZEM, and did some follow up questions in the wake of a story that is found at this link. Phoebe Howe replied for their company.

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Interior ZEM photo provided at the request of MHProNews by Phoebe Howe.

Q1) What building code is the ZEM made to, please?

PhoebeHoweZEMprogramCoordnatorEfficiencyVermontVERMODManufacturedModularHousingIndustryResearchReportsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsZEM is a modular home, meets the latest IBC requirements, is set directly on a frost protected foundation and is built to meet the Efficiency Vermont Certified: High Performance standard,” Howe said, providing a link to additional information (see download above for more details).

Q2) Was the energy use data broken out by pre-HUD Code homes – true mobile homes – and post 1976 Code Manufactured Housing?

The comparison looks at a new HUD manufactured home delivered today in the same climate, Vermont, with the same program elements (square footage, beds, bath and geometry) as compared to a ZEM,” Howe said, again, see the link above for more details.

Q3) What size is the ZEM, total cost at retail, cost per square foot?

The ZEM homes are custom designed and come in many different configurations but are primarily designed to replace single wide and double wide manufactured homes in parks and on private land.  Most homes are a 14x70ft single box or 26x42ft two box home. The completed homes run approximately $120/sf FOB, which includes a full ENERGY STAR appliance package including dishwasher, clothes washer and ventless heat pump dryer in addition to a ductless cold climate heat pump for heating and cooling, heat pump water heater and fresh air ventilation system. 

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Photo provided at the request of MHProNews by Phoebe Howe.

With crawlspace foundation, delivery, set, utility hookup, and solar, the homes run approximately $160/sf.,” once more added information was provided by Howe, which is shown in the graphic below.

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Credits are as shown above.

Apples to Apples?

It isn’t easy to determine from the information VERMOD provided if this is a standard manufactured home insulation package they’re comparing to their ZEM or not.  The implication is that it is the same size, but the HUD Code home could be a standard model, as opposed to an upgraded insulation or Energy Star ™ rated home.

As Dr. Harold Hunt pointed out in the snippet quoted below, those involved in ordering manufactured homes know that virtually all builders offer upgraded insulation packages.  There are not many HUD Code builders at this time that offer a net zero production model, but several companies are doing testing and sales of such designs, as the Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have reported.

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To learn more about Dr. Hunt’s research on manufactured homes and energy usage, click here or the link above. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/not-your-grandfathers-trailer-house/

Howe would find wide agreement among retailers and communities who say that many customers care more about the down payment and monthly payment than total costs (see payment chart above).

What is certain is that while the monthly payment shown in the VERMOD example is lower, it is also lower because of incentives offered, plus a 50 percent longer loan term.  Apples to apples on the loan term, the ZEM would clearly be higher.

It’s also worth noting that with a shift in U.S. energy policy being signaled in the Trump Administration, energy costs may not be rising at the same rates as we’ve seen in the past 8 years.  See our linked report above on that topic.

The builder of the ZEM states that they are scheduled out for several months.  So their project seems to be stable and doing well, based upon the current dynamics of energy rebates and other incentives that are artificially lowering those costs to the buyers of a ZEM.

MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, will continue to track such developments, to keep professionals, investors, and the public informed.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Generation Buy? Millennials and Home Ownership

May 16th, 2017 Comments off
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The inside of a Fourleaf Properties manufactured home in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Candy’s Dirt.

New figures out from HSBC show some unexpected and interesting figures on how millennials around the world are dealing with homeownership.

And according to one billionaire, the big barrier for some includes avocados and coffee.

When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” said Tim Gurner, a billionaire luxury real estate developer in Australia.

According to the Daily Caller, while adults in America born after 1980 are slower to buy their first home than their parents, even with access to better rates and more credit, the situation in Australia is worse: millennials are second to last worldwide in homeownership.

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Avocados stopping home buying? Credit: Daily Caller.

And Gurner has some serious “dad” style advice to help them along.

You have to start to get realistic about your expectations,” said Gurner.

There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”

Young people want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year,” Gurner continued. “This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.”

 

China Winning?

The study from HSBC, entitled “Generation Buy,” breaks out millennial homeownership figures from countries around the world, showing that an average of 40 percent of millennials own their home, and a whopping 83 percent intend to buy within the next five years.

The nation that’s leading that charge may surprise you: China.

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Credit: HSBC.

70 percent of Chinese millennials already own their homes, with 91 percent planning to buy a house within the next five years. Mexico came in second in the study at 46 percent and France finished third with 41 percent.

This study challenges the myth that the home ownership dream is dead for millennials around the world,” said Louisa Cheang, HSBC’s Global Head of Retail Banking.

With four in ten already owning their home, the dream of home ownership for millennials is definitely alive and kicking. The greatest challenges are in those countries where there is a perfect storm of stagnating salaries and rising house prices – for millennials in those countries, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred.”

 

Millennials and Manufactured Housing

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Johnathan Smoke. Credit: Move.com.

Many of the challenges and desires of millennials read like a list tailor-made for modern manufactured homes. Greener, more affordable, a choice of sizes, styles and customizable floor plans.

Millennials “represent an ‘Oh, shift’ moment in housing,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.

Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem,” said millennial Lindsey Bostick of Bostick Homes.

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Image credits, Lindsey Bostick, Inside MH Road Show, home photo, Sunshine Homes and ManufacturedHomes.com.

Bostick has lived in several kinds of housing, and now is a manufactured homeowner herself, so she knows.

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new construction. Additionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” the university-graduated Bostick said.

For more on millennials and their desire for quality, affordable housing, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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COAP teams up with SmartMH KY Initiative

September 15th, 2016 Comments off
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Barry Noffsinger, CU Factory Built Lending (SACU), and Stacey Epperson, NextStepUS. COAP logo and SmartMH™; all logos and images are the properties of their respective organizations, and are used here under Fair Use guidelines.

COAP, Inc. recently joined the SmartMH KY™ program, a strategic alliance of the manufactured housing industry producers, lenders, retailers, utilities, non-profits and stakeholders who’ve made it their mission to make ENERGY STAR™ homes more accessible via better loans throughout Kentucky, the Harlan Daily Enterprise reports.

COAP’s mission, per their website, is “To provide sustainable, affordable, safe, energy efficient, and dry housing with moderate, low, and very low income Harlan, Bell, and Leslie Counties of Kentucky families and individuals.”

COAP was conceived in 1977 as a grass roots inter-denominational relief effort in response to a devastating flood, which caused great destruction of homes in Harlan County,” says their website.

By March of 1983, COAP was formed as an independent non-profit corporation, which later replaced the work of Christian Family Housing Services in January of 1984.

Now that COAP and SmartMH KY™ have teamed up, COAP has become part of an initiative that seeks to reenergize the housing marketplace for energy-efficient homes by providing flexible financial plans in an effort to lessen homeowners’ financial burden.

The partnership will also push the impact of a new ENERGY STAR™ upgrade program to the forefront. This program, administered by the Systems Building Research Alliances, is buoyed by support incentives from a number of outlets, including the Kentucky Housing Corporation, participating utilities and participating factories. These support systems will make the ENERGY STAR ™ upgrade available for a minimal cost, or in some cases, no extra cost for homebuyers in Kentucky.

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Home owners like Davis are the reason for the SMARTMH KY™ initiative. Image credit, SMARTMH™.

Manufactured homes are a key source of affordable housing for KY residents. 14% of Kentuckians own a manufactured home.  However, out of the roughly new 2,000 manufactured homes sold in Kentucky, less than 1% are certified as ENERGY STAR™.  The goal of the program is to give singles, couples and families the ability to save on the purchase of a new manufactured home as well as save longer term through a lower energy bill. ##

(Editor’s Note: this is a voluntary, incentive based program in which non-profits and for-profits are working together.  It stands in contrast to the proposed DOE energy mandates, to see the latest developments on that proposal, please click here.)

(Image credits are as shown.)

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton, Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Affordable (Manufactured) Housing Done Right – NextStepUS Annual Report

September 9th, 2016 Comments off

leelucilleallen-nextstepus-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronewsCompared to where we were, there is no comparison,” said Lee Allen. “It’s been 10 years of good memories.”

When you walk through Lee and Lucille Allen’s front door, it feels like home,” begins the NextStepUS Annual report.

Over a decade ago, the Allen’s became NextSteps first home owners. “Lee is a bluegrass musician who played with Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys, a retired police officer and a natural storyteller. Lucille is a hairdresser at a local funeral home, a volunteer at the nursing home and an avid quilter.”

Tyler Mullins, the designer of the report and Megan Neff Sherehiy share the gift of knowing how to tell the NextStep story in a compelling way.  MHLivingNews and MHProNews have both periodically reported over the years on the organization and its vision, which touts green, energy saving manufactured homes “done right.”

staceyeppersonpresidentfoundernextstepnetwork-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronews_001Stacey Epperson, the president and founder of NextStepUS was part of an interview that reflects how she, as a conventional builder at first hated “mobile homes,” but then she took a closer look at modern manufactured homes, and now she loves the product and how it can change people’s lives – like the Allen’s – for the better.

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NextStep’s work is worth attention, and there are numerous potential takeaways from how they present their work to others that manufactured housing pros at all levels can benefit from. To see their annual report, click here or the graphic above.

For a video interview with Stacey Epperson, click here.

The graphics on this page are part of their annual report, to see full NextStepUS report, please click here. ##

(Image credits, NextStepUS)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.

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.

Student Built Modular Home will House Habitat for Humanity Family

October 6th, 2015 Comments off

habitat_for_humanity__roanoke__candy_long__creditA modular home currently under construction at Botetourt Technical Education Center in Roanoke, Virginia may wind up as a Habitat for Humanity home, as Habitat representatives attempt to solidify a partnership with the school, roanoke tells MHPronews.

While they have not yet located a lot for the house, this will be the first Habitat home in Botetourt County. There are three main requirements for a Habitat Home: the family must qualify economically, they must put in approximately 350 hours of “sweat equity,” and be able to pay a zero percent mortgage to Habitat. Usually, the mortgage payment is 25 percent of the family’s monthly income. Money from the mortgages are poured back into the next home Habitat builds.

Energy Star and Earth Craft are used to make the home energy efficient. BTEC Principal Jim Bradshaw said, “We began the house last year, and it is soon to be finished. We just finished the electricity and plumbing and are getting windows set, as well as [having] ordered siding.” ##

(Photo credit: roanoke/Candy Long–modular home being sited in Roanoke)

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.

Energy Efficiency on the Table at MHI’s Expo in Las Vegas

May 1st, 2015 Comments off

green dollar lightbulb  construtech creditNoting that the technology involved in manufactured housing (MH) has improved greatly over the years, especially since the inception of the federally regulated HUD Code in 1976, Robin Roy, writing for the Natural Resources Defense Council blog, Switchboard, says MH is poised to continue to play a vital role in affordable housing. This blog was reposted from Next Step Network, a strong non-profit supporter of MH and energy efficiency.

With an emphasis on energy efficiency, Roy attended the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) 2015 National Congress and Expo in Las Vegas, and notes some of the highlights from that event. He says Emanuel Levy from the Systems Building Research Alliance spoke of improved insulation and roof systems, as well as “mini-split” heat pumps that can produce a 75 percent savings in energy usage, well above the 20-30 percent savings the Department of Energy has planned for MH.

Roy was especially pleased to see that Cavco Industries received the Manufacturer of the Year Award for two homes that include some of these energy-saving devices.

Barry Noffsinger of CU Factory Built Lending described the Kentucky non-profit’s Next Step Network Alliance to provide residents of manufactured homes in Kentucky with Energy Star rated MH through a collaboration of utility companies, manufactured home industry leaders and lenders, retailers and other non-profits. The energy-efficient homes should save residents $800 a year in energy costs. As MHProNews reported April 7, 2015, fewer than one percent of the 2,000 homes sold annually in Kentucky in the last five years were Energy Star certified. The goal is to increases that to 50 percent.

Roy gave a presentation at Expo on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed efficiency standards for MH to save 20-30 percent in energy costs while retaining affordability, which hopefully will be issued within the next month or two. Roy said he received a favorable reception from industry stakeholders to work together on this issue. He said: All of this adds up to a great outlook for energy efficient, economic manufactured housing – and the millions of Americans living in these homes. ##

(Image credit: construtech)

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

Kentucky Collaboration will Provide ENERGY STAR Manufactured Homes

April 7th, 2015 Comments off

smart_mhThe Louisville-based non-profit, Next Step Network, is partnering with the manufactured housing (MH) industry, lenders, retailers, utilities, other nonprofits and public stakeholders to increase access to ENERGY STAR homes with flexible financing for Kentucky residents of manufactured homes. Manufactured homes account for 13.6 percent of Kentucky’s housing stock. The goal is to reduce the cost of purchasing homes as well as utility bills, thereby saving MH owners thousands of dollars over the long term. In addition, the homes require less maintenance and have a higher resale value.

The initiative, called SmartMH℠ KY Alliance, will provide good loan rates, better terms and assistance with down payments or utility costs. MHProNews has learned Smart MH loans are now available through the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), which offers low cost mortgages and down payment assistance; CU Factory Built Lending Product offers home only, land/home, and land-in-lieu loans that will accept aging mobile homes as down payment towards the purchase of a new MH.

The ENERGY STAR upgrade program is administered by the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) with support from KHC, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which will pay participating manufacturers incentives to build the ENERGY STAR homes, thereby offsetting their additional costs. These homes feature increased insulation, efficient HVAC and high-performance windows to reduce leaks and drafts. A similar program in Tennessee led by TVA and SBRA increased ENERGY STAR home sales from one percent to over 60 percent of market share in three years.

In Kentucky over the past five years, less than one percent of the 2,000 homes sold annually were ENERGY STAR certified. It is anticipated the SmartMH℠ KY Alliance will increase ENERGY STAR manufactured home shipments to 50 percent in two years.

For more information, please visit www.SmartMH.org. ##

(Image credit: SmartMH.org)

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