Vermont owners of manufactured homes spend 66% more of their income on energy than owners of stick-built homes do—in large part because of older, energy-inefficient mobile homes. When Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont in 2011, 15% of the homes damaged or destroyed were mobile or manufactured homes, adding urgency to an existing concern.
In 2012, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) initiated the Modular Housing Innovation Project (MHIP) and asked to partner with VEIC (though Efficiency Vermont) and several other organizations. The project was sponsored by VHCB, the High Meadows Fund, and other philanthropic sources.
The collaborative project has resulted in the design of a durable, energy-efficient, and affordable modular home—the zero energy modular home can fit on existing mobile home park lots while featuring high-performance, double-wall construction with superior insulation, advanced air-source heating and cooling, and triple-paned windows, among other features. Solar panels are standard on these net zero energy homes, eliminating the burden of energy costs. Zero energy modular homes also meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Indoor Air Plus” standard.
Zero energy modular homes are currently built by VERMOD Homes in Wilder, Vermont, As of 2016, there are about 50 zero energy modular homes located throughout Vermont.
- This first-of-its-kind design blends advanced energy-efficient technology with affordable construction and healthy, durable materials.
- Owners of zero energy modular homes avoid the energy burden of a typical new manufactured home—while enjoying high-quality indoor air.
- With a low-interest mortgage, low or no energy costs, and minimal maintenance costs, owners save significantly over the lifetime of the unit.