Clayton to build solar-ready manufactured homes to meet DOE specs by end of 2023

clayton solar ready manufactured housing

A manufactured housing builder is planning to make all its homes solar-ready by the end of the year. Clayton has committed to build all new residential manufactured homes — also referred to as mobile homes — to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home specifications by Jan. 1, 2024. These solar-ready homes, available to order in July 2023, will include enhanced energy efficiency features that significantly reduce energy costs for homeowners, while also supporting the company’s broader sustainability goals.

At the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting on May 6, Clayton showcased a home built to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specifications.

“We are driven to make energy efficient homes an attainable option for home buyers across the country,” said CEO Kevin Clayton. “Energy efficiency is crucial for lowering monthly utility costs and maintaining long-term affordability.”

Manufactured homes comprise more than 6% of the country’s housing stock, according to a study conducted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). However, the study also showed that one of the challenges with manufactured homes is that they are often not structurally strong enough for rooftop systems.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are built inside a certified building facility and are designed with energy-efficient features that can offset up to 100% of the home’s energy use when combined with a renewable energy system, such as solar panels. Every DOE Zero Energy Ready Home must meet rigorous efficiency requirements, making it less costly for homeowners if they choose to add solar in the future. 

All Clayton DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes will be equipped with enhanced energy-efficient features, such as a Rheem hybrid heat pump water heater, low-E windows with argon gas, SmartComfort by Carrier high efficiency heat pump or gas furnace, ENERGY STAR certified appliances, LED lighting throughout, an ecobee smart thermostat and additional insulation. To deliver additional value to the consumer, Clayton will reinvest the credits received for building the certified homes to offset the cost of materials.

By the start of 2024, Clayton plans to have 39 manufactured home building facilities nationwide DOE certified and building homes to DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specifications. This significant milestone is an extension of the company’s overall sustainability efforts. In 2014, Clayton began working toward its ISO 14001:2015 program, the gold standard of environmental management systems, across all of its home building and supply facilities. Since then, the program has resulted in a significant reduction of waste in operations through improved resource management and landfill diversion efforts. Last year alone, Clayton diverted over 100 million pounds of waste from landfills through recycling efforts at their home building and supply facilities.

Clayton’s national sustainability efforts also include reducing emissions through practices such as fleet modernization and an increased investment in solar power at its home office and building facilities. In addition, Clayton, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, is committed to planting 4.47 million native trees by 2025 to help restore vital forest ecosystems across the country.

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