MHI, Texas Association File Suit Against Energy Department

DOE energy rules department of energy manufactured housing
The James E Forrestal Building, Washington, D.C. offices for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Manufactured Housing Institute and Texas Manufactured Housing Association announced Feb. 14 that the two have combined efforts to take legal action aimed at a delay in implementation of the Department of Energy’s “Energy Conservation Standards for Manufactured Housing” changes that are scheduled to take effect on May 31.

MHI said it has been pursuing a multi-pronged approach to the proposed DOE standards for several years, the ultimate goal being to have energy standards housed and managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is the industry’s longstanding primary federal regulatory body.

“Progress has been made with HUD and lawmakers, and we are continuing to work with DOE and HUD to find a workable and affordable solution,” the communication sent by MHI Chairman Leo Poggione stated. “However, with the looming deadline and continued lack of clarity from DOE, MHI decided legal action was the only option available.”

MHI contends DOE set an arbitrary and unrealistic one-year deadline, and that the proposed requirements are not ready for implementation on May 31.

The Energy Department failed to consult with HUD, MHI stated, and the standards are misaligned with the HUD code, they contain inaccurate cost estimates, do not take current manufactured home construction methods into consideration, and fail to address testing, inspection, and certification of homes.

MHI said it is dedicated to working toward a solution through:

  • Continuing to work with regulatory agencies to delay implementation of the DOE standard until there is alignment between DOE and HUD regulations.
  • Ensuring HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee’s (MHCC) proposed changes to incorporate the DOE standards into the HUD code are finalized.
  • Supporting legislation to guarantee HUD is the primary regulator for all construction standards for manufactured housing.

TMHA Communicates with Members on DOE Filing

In a letter to members on Feb. 16, TMHA reiterated MHI’s intent for the legal filing, citing Freddie Mac language from a recent study the explains the exceptional level of attention the manufactured housing industry puts into energy efficiency.

“Make no mistake, our industry is an avid proponent of innovation and effective conservation efforts,” TMHA stated in its communication. “This commitment spans across the production, sales, transportation, and site-construction processes. A prime example being the minimal amount of waste created during our factory-built construction, along with our comprehensive recycling programs.”

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