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Berkeley Lab: Program Design Combining Community Solar and Weatherization for Manufactured Homes

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Overview

This report explores program ideas that bring together community solar with the weatherization of manufactured homes

Residents of manufactured homes have some of the lowest incomes and highest energy burdens in the United States, and they have limited opportunities to make their homes more energy efficient. Community solar offers a new avenue to help them cut utility bills, especially when combined with efficient electrification upgrades.

new report from Berkeley Lab explores program ideas that bring together community solar with the weatherization of manufactured homes (sometimes called “mobile” homes). The report was written in response to a technical assistance request from the Michigan energy office, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), through the US Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP).

While the research is specific to Michigan, it lays out a methodology and recommendations that could apply in any state or territory.

The paper first provides an overview of manufactured home communities in Michigan, with a discussion of demographics and energy issues they face. The average household income for residents of manufactured homes, for example, is $28,115, compared to $75,760 for residents of single family detached homes. About 26% of manufactured homes in the state rely on high-cost propane or electric resistance heaters.

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