A win-win for saving energy and money

Manufactured homes provide affordable housing across Alabama. The state ranks fifth in the nation for the percentage of residential manufactured homes, and manufactured homes account for more than a third of homes in parts of PowerSouth’s service area.

To make manufactured homes more affordable to purchase, they typically come equipped with electric furnaces. This heating system is very cost-efficient for the dealer but the least energy-efficient. In some cases, homeowners with electric furnaces face winter electric bills that are higher than their monthly mortgage payments.

That’s why PowerSouth and its members launched a manufactured home heat pump rebate program last July, designed to make it more affordable for end-use members to upgrade their new or existing manufactured home to a high-efficiency heat pump. The program allows manufactured homeowners to see lower winter electric bills and increased comfort and helps PowerSouth and its members reduce overall demand for power. This helps manage wholesale power costs and assists in keeping rates stable for PowerSouth’s distribution members and the members they serve.

The program is a win-win for everyone.

For members purchasing a new manufactured home, the program covers the difference between the cost of a high-efficiency heat pump and an electric furnace. This rebate is paid to the manufactured home dealer.

Members who already own a manufactured home are eligible for a $400-per-ton rebate (paid to the member) when they upgrade to a high-efficiency heat pump.

By upgrading to a high-efficiency heat pump, manufactured homeowners use less electricity for heating and reduce the amount of energy needed during times of peak demand (such as a cold winter morning). This equates to an average savings of $550 per year on heating costs. That frees up household budgets to provide for the family in other ways.

The program is off to a strong start, with 22 new home rebates and 222 existing home rebates processed since the program began.

The effort has already helped reduce PowerSouth’s total system winter peak demand by almost one megawatt. That’s enough electricity to power 100 homes for about an hour.

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, PowerSouth seeks to deliver reliable, competitively priced wholesale power at the lowest cost possible. Programs that equip people to use energy more efficiently benefit everyone.

That’s a winning strategy.

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This article was written by PowerSouth’s Communications department, as President and CEO Gary Smith enjoys a respite from writing to focus on issues important to PowerSouth, its members and those they serve.