Low Income Energy Efficiency Programs: Why Participation Is Essential For Manufactured Homes

For 22 million Americans, manufactured homes (or mobile homes, as they were once called), isn’t a camping ground and actually represents a place of permanent residence. For low-income families, it’s not hard to see why - they can cost up to 50% less per square foot to build.

However, in the long run, they can be more costly for the homeowner to maintain. Manufactured home residents can spend more than twice the amount on energy, especially if the RV or mobile home is a bit older. This creates a bit of a paradox for the homeowner - do you pay more for an energy efficient home, or do you buy a cheaper home and do retrofits to make it more energy efficient?

Fortunately, utilities have dedicated energy efficiency programs that help homeowners who need financial assistance. Low-income customers can qualify for energy efficiency programs that are run by utilities all over the country. Here are some of our favourite energy efficiency programs out there for homeowners.

For homeowners, participating in energy efficiency programs is usually a simple process. You go to your utility provider’s websites to sign up for an energy assessment. Then, a service organization will determine which retrofits are most important. Finally, your utility will provide you with information about how to reduce energy costs in the future.

Here are a few utilities that are doing great things when it comes to low-income programs that help those who live in mobile or manufactured homes. If you’re lucky enough served by one of the following utilities, why not check out their websites and see if you qualify below?

Southwestern Electric Power Company (AEP SWEPCO)

SWEPCO offers rebates for a variety of energy efficiency improvements including duct sealing, insulation, air conditioner or heat pump replacement, air infiltration, and much more to improve comfort for mobile or manufactured home residents. SWEPCO has an easy four-step process for homeowners to reserve their rebate, then select their contractor and receive their incentive checks.

To qualify, you must have a SWEPCO eligible meter. Condominiums, apartments, townhomes, or multifamily dwellings must be separately metered. More details on how to qualify can be found here.

Duke Energy (Helping Home Fund)

Available in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and the Carolinas, the Helping Home Fund is not strictly limited to manufactured homes. However, in the program’s first 2.5 years, more than 3,500 homes received financial assistance with their energy costs, and nearly a quarter of them were manufactured homes. The program focused on health, safety and weatherization improvements (e.g., roof repairs, water heater repairs, weatherstripping).

To qualify, you must have an active account with Duke and/or Piedmont Natural Gas. These funds are allocated specifically to help low-income families. More program details can be found here. A map of service providers can be found here.

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities LG&E/KU (WeCare)

WeCare is a weatherization and energy education program to help customers in the low-income bracket. The service organization conducts a water heater inspection through a certified energy auditor to ensure there are no safety issues with the home, then subsequently, homeowners are given the resources they need to get educated on energy efficiency programs. Eligibility requirements for those living in Kentucky can be found here.

You can see the extensive list of tips and tricks to improve your manufactured home’s energy efficiency by visiting the LG&E website here, as well as their contact information.

For utilities, the question then becomes; “What can we do to get more participation in low income energy efficiency programs?”

At EnergyX, we work with some of North America’s largest utilities to run low-income programs. Want to learn how we encourage higher participation in energy efficiency programs? Get in touch with a MyEnergyXpert rep today!

Bruce Chen