The mobile home of tomorrow: Vermont leads the way
by Peter Schneider, Senior Energy Consultant
In a previous blog post, I wrote that Efficiency Vermont and project partners were collaborating on a project to design high performance mobile homes that are durable, energy efficient, and affordable to Vermonters. I am pleased to report that the Vermont high performance mobile home project has now unveiled the first of ten such homes being built in 2013.
The idea was born after Tropical Storm Irene destroyed 150 mobile homes, but these homes are designed to be even more than a long term recovery solution. As we began to work closely on the project, housing advocates and energy efficiency experts in Vermont quickly agreed that purchase price is not the only factor that makes a home affordable - it's also about the monthly costs to live in it, and the safety and security of high quality construction Mobile homes with poor insulation, lack of air sealing, and inefficient lighting and appliances mean very high electric and heat bills for the families that live in them. Vermonters now have an energy efficient alternative to traditionally inefficient mobile homes.
We expect utility bills in these high performance homes to be about $16 per month – an incredible reduction for homeowners who are accustomed to paying hundreds of dollars every month to heat and power their home. But the full impact will be much broader than that. It will mean a comfortable, healthy, and secure home; a source of pride; and a beautiful, economical, and sustainable addition to any Vermont community. You can tour the model home, or look into purchasing one, by contacting a participating NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center in your area. Tell us what you think of the high performance mobile homes in the comments.