The Fayetteville Observer
By: Michael Futch,
August 4, 2011
The N.C. State Energy Office announced Wednesday a $1,500 rebate to homebuyers who purchase energy-efficient manufactured homes through the end of 2011.
Previously, the rebate in North Carolina was $500 for those who bought Energy Star-qualified manufactured homes.
"We're making it even more attractive for consumers to buy energy-efficient manufactured homes," said Nicole Dyess, residential program manager for the Energy Office. "But the rebate is only the beginning of the savings."
The office announced the rebate during a news conference at the Fayetteville location of Clayton Homes.
"In addition to the cash back, homeowners in North Carolina will save an average of $74 a month, or just shy of $1,000 a year, on utility bills compared to homes of the same size that are not Energy Star-qualified," Dyess said. "The N.C. Plus Program for Energy Star manufactured homes provides an incentive for homeowners to purchase a home that may have a slightly higher monthly mortgage, but more than makes up for it each month on their utility bill."
The rebate incentive, which became available two weeks ago, is offered to anyone who purchases an Energy Star-manufactured home between July 1 and Dec. 31. The $2 million N.C. Plus program for Energy Star homes is rooted in the 2009 Federal Recovery Act.
"It allows us to do about 800 rebates," Dyess said.
Representatives of the Energy Office are making appearances in five North Carolina cities to publicize the initiative.
"It helps people save energy, which doesn't simply help the homeowner," said Seth Effron, a communications director of the N.C. State Energy Office. "But less energy used in one home means less pressure there is on all of the areas that produce energy, whether it's the environment or burning carbon fuels. All of those things help us and help save money."
An Energy Star-qualified home can save a homeowner 15 percent to 30 percent on monthly utility bills, Effron said.
Bryan Lawrence, who manages the local office of Clayton Homes, said it costs $1,644 to upgrade his company's most entry-level manufactured home to Energy Star status. The cost of the home, on average, would run about $71,500.
The upgrade to the Energy Star program would increase the monthly payment on the home by $10, he said. With the $1,500 rebate, homeowners could nearly cover the price of the upgrade.
Katy Wagner said she and her husband, Rene, purchased a 2,400-square-foot Energy Star double-wide in September after living with relatives in a Hope Mills apartment.
She's paying about $950 a month on the home in St. Pauls, compared with the $640 rent. Wagner figures they had saved $45 to $50 on their last electric bill.
"Honestly, we get more for our money," she said. "It's money we can use elsewhere."