The Department of Energy took an important step toward more affordable, energy efficient manufactured homes today when its standards advisory committee established a formal working group in which consumers, manufacturers, utilities, environmental advocates and other stakeholders will work together on updated energy-saving standards for a type of housing that is home to nearly 20 million Americans.
“Manufactured homes” are the modern counterpart to “mobile homes,” which are old units built before 1976, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development first established construction standards. Unlike other homes, a manufactured home has a permanent chassis (a structure to which wheels can be attached), making it readily transportable. (“Modular homes” are also factory-built, but don’t have a permanent chassis, and are regulated by states in the same way as site-built homes.) While many lower-income Americans live in inexpensive manufactured homes, these factory-built units can be of high quality, with high-end amenities and performance.