PSE, Habitat for Humanity, BPA Showcase New, Super-efficient Manufactured Home

New High-performance Spec Delivers Big Energy Savings, Could Reinvigorate Manufactured Home Market

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BOTHELL, Wash. (July 29, 2014) — Puget Sound Energy, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County and Bonneville Power Administration are hosting a tour of a new, high-performance manufactured home, July 31 in Bothell, just north of Seattle. The prototype home incorporates some of the latest energy-saving features and technology, including a ductless heat pump, heat pump water heater, efficient lighting, triple-glazed windows, foam sheathing on exterior walls and added insulation.

What: Tour new, super-efficient manufactured home
When: Thursday, July 31 at 10 a.m.
Where: 18903 129th Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011 (Holly Hills Area)
Who: Meet the new homeowners, project sponsors, builder and vendors

"Manufactured homes built to this new high-performance spec have durability and performance features that could change opinions about factory-built homes and be integral part of our super-efficient 21st century utility system," says Christopher Dymond, senior product manager with Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations.

While the prototype may represent the manufactured home of the future, the Norahun family is simply excited to call it home. "We can't wait to see our new home for the first time and learn more about its unique features," says Tesfaye Norahun. "We're so happy that we'll finally have a home to call our own, but also that it won't cost us a lot of money to run and maintain."

The Norahuns are purchasing the home through Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County's affordable homeownership program. "We are excited to be a part of this project as is fits very closely with our commitment to being a responsible, sustainable and affordable home builder," says Kirk Utzinger, Habitat Seattle-King County CEO.

BPA, NEEA, Northwest electric utilities and other partners are collaborating with nine Northwest-based manufactured home builders to demonstrate the benefits of a higher standard for newly constructed manufactured homes and assist each manufacturer in their design. A manufactured home built to an advanced high-performance specification can save up to 50 percent on heating and cooling costs when compared to typical manufactured homes.

"Beyond more affordable electric bills for the homeowner, the goal is to establish a new minimum building standard for manufactured homes," says Bob Stolarski, director Customer Energy Management, Puget Sound Energy. "Which means buyers will get a higher quality, more comfortable and more energy efficient home."

There are about a half a million manufactured homes in the Northwest and more than 200,000 in Washington state. Since about 20 percent were made before the current construction standards (pre-1994 HUD), a more energy-efficient option could help PSE, BPA and other Northwest electric utilities meet future energy conservation goals. Estimates suggest that an uptake of high-performance manufactured homes in the thousands could translate to long-term energy savings of 20 average megawatts — enough electricity to power nearly 15,000 Northwest homes for an entire year.

"This new high-performance home creates a "good/better/best" option in the manufactured home market," says Mark Johnson, residential energy conservation specialist at BPA. "And a new minimum building standard could deliver tremendous energy savings for decades to come."

The entry of new, super-efficient models could also reinvigorate a relatively stale manufactured home market. "Manufacturers and retailers are excited about these new homes," says Brady Peeks with Northwest Energy Works, Inc., an organization under contract with BPA that's helping manufacturers systemize their building process of new high-performance homes. "And we expect consumers will be too, especially those who want to conserve energy and are concerned about their carbon footprint."

The Bothell home is one of four completed prototypes. Three others have been cited in Toledo, Wash. (Lewis County Public Utility District), Pullman, Wash. (Avista Corp.) and Otis, Ore. (PacifiCorp). And another four homes are expected to be cited throughout the region in the next few months.

The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's "Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction" program. Other partners include: Community Frameworks, Ecotope, Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star New Homes Program, Manufactured Housing Associations and Washington State University.

About Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy is Washington state's oldest local energy company. We serve 1.1 million electric customers and more than 770,000 natural gas customers in 10 counties. For more information, visit www.PSE.com. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County

Habitat for Humanity SKC, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a faith-based, nonprofit housing organization that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat SKC is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through constructing, renovating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat SKC builds more than houses — we transform local communities. Habitat SKC has built, renovated or repaired more than 390 homes for families in need of affordable housing in King County. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitatskc.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Bonneville Power Administration

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketing agency that sells wholesale renewable hydropower from federal dams in the Columbia Basin, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners pursue cost-effective energy savings in all sectors of the economy and together they have saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. BPA also pursues breakthroughs than can increase efficiencies, solves operational challenges and reduce costs — all of which help maintain affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest and lessen impacts to the environment. www.bpa.gov

About Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA leverages its strong regional partnerships to effect market transformation by accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners – including Avista Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Clark Public Utilities, Cowlitz PUD, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, Pacific Power, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County Public Utilities, and Tacoma Power – have saved enough energy to power more than 600,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. www.neea.org

Media Contacts

PSE: Ray Lane, ray.lane@pse.com, 1-888-831-7250
Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County: Gena Guillen, gena@habitatskc.org, 206-866-7618
Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County: Lisa Samuelson, lisa@samuelsoncom.com, 206-954-2574
BPA: Joel Scruggs, jlscruggs@bpa.gov, 503-230-5511