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House Rules: Lower Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Manufactured Homes

February 2015

PNNL energy analysis crucial for rulemaking process

Manufactured housing represents 10 percent of residential housing in the United States. A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy sets the minimum energy efficiency standard for manufactured housing, saving 2.5 quads of energy over a 30-year lifetime and cumulatively reducing CO2 emissions by 140 million metric tons, a key contribution to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

As directed by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), DOE initiated the process of developing and publishing energy efficiency standards for manufactured housing. In July 2014, DOE established a manufactured housing (MH) working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. The working group consisted of 22 members representing manufacturers, energy efficiency advocates and consumer protection advocates and was charged with achieving consensus on the technical elements of a proposed rule.

The ASRAC set a deadline of November 1, 2014, for the MH Working Group to negotiate proposed federal standards for the energy efficiency of manufactured homes. After six rounds of in-person public meetings in three months, the group reached consensus on energy efficiency standards in manufactured housing and assembled its recommendations for DOE in a term sheet presented and approved by ASRAC.

Through the proceedings, a team of PNNL experts provided numerous energy analyses that supported the working group’s negotiation. PNNL's timely delivery of data to support the public meetings and careful quality control on results were a key driver for the MH Working Group reaching consensus by the ASRAC deadline. The DOE sponsor indicated that this was "an excellent example of why DOE has national labs" ready to support administration priorities.

PNNL Research Team: Bing Liu, Vrushali Mendon, and Yulong Xie

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