New Study Identifies Strategies to Lower Energy Costs for Manufactured Homes in Michigan

Source: NASEO

Manufactured homes make up over five percent of the housing stock in Michigan, and over a quarter rely on propane or electric heaters to heat their homes. Narrow wall cavities, space constraints, and other structural barriers also make it challenging to implement weatherization and energy efficiency improvements compared to single family site-built homes. Grappling with the price volatility of delivered fuels and energy burdens exacerbated by an aging housing stock and inefficiencies in existing heating equipment, residents of manufactured homes may face limited opportunities for savings from energy efficiency measures.

A new study for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) offers a potential solution to address these issues: combining community solar subscriptions with high-efficiency cold weather heat pumps. To manage seasonal variation in heating bills and solar output, the report recommends such a program integrate a "solar banking" or seasonalized "budget billing" approach. It also provides guidance on identifying priority locations, setting eligibility criteria, and leveraging federal and other funding opportunities.

The report, developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) for EGLE, was conducted in response to a request for technical assistance through the U.S. Department of Energy's National Community Solar Partnership. Many of the strategies outlined in the report could be applied in other states and regions.

To learn more and access the full report, please click here.