Committee clears Tester’s legislation for energy efficient, affordable housing

Senator’s bill would provide rebates for upgrading aging mobile homes

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – A key Senate panel has approved Senator Jon Tester’s legislation to provide rebates to owners of substandard mobile homes to upgrade to newer, more energy efficient mobile homes.

Tester’s Energy-Efficient Manufactured Housing Act, which has passed the Senate Energy Committee, would provide up to a $7,500 rebate to owners of mobile homes built before 1976 who choose to purchase “Energy Star” homes. 

An “Energy Star” rated product generally uses at least 20-30 percent less energy than required by federal standards.  Such energy efficient homes would be estimated to save families $800-$1000 annually in energy costs.

“This is an opportunity to cut back on energy costs, while getting a lot of folks in Montana and across the country into better housing,” Tester said.  “For families in our state struggling to make ends meet, we’re working to open up a door for them for a safer, more efficient home.”

Tester’s legislation would make rebates available to families whose household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Grants to fund the rebates would be distributed to states according to the number of mobile homes used as primary residences.

Tester’s bill has the support of several state and national organizations including Frontier Housing, the National Housing Conference, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the National Rural Housing Coalition, and NeighborWorks Montana.

Estimates show nearly 2 million mobile homes in the United States built before 1976.

The Energy-Efficient Manufactured Housing Act is available on Tester’s website, HERE.