DOE Publishes Final Energy Standards for MH
The biggest news in our industry is the release of the new energy standards for manufactured homes by the Department of Energy. The compliance date for the new provisions is a year away, May 2023.
For a better breakdown of the 360+ page final rule, read Rob’s DOE Final Rule Synopsis on the new requirements.
The key take aways are:
- The new requirements will result in increased construction costs depending on the type of house (single verse multi-section) and the climate zone the home is constructed. The DOE estimates cost increases within the rule commentary (national average for single sections an increase of $660, and for multi-sections an increase of $4,222 in construction costs, but this does not include other related testing and compliance costs), but it is fair to assume that actual full cost effect increases are not yet known or fully realized by regulator nor industry.
- Texas is mostly in the least impacted climate zone (CZ 1) for the new requirements but will certainly still be impacted by the changes. And for factories building and retailers selling into nearby northern states like Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arkansas, they will have to manage both CZ 1 and 2 requirements.
- The DOE specifically stated they would not be enforcing the rule or managing any resulting testing requirements. This has created more uncertainty as to how the rule might be fully enforced and by which federal agency.
- The rule allows for either a prescriptive or performance-based approach to comply with the new requirements.
There remain many industry concerns over the new rule. These range from actual full costs of compliance, sourcing materials, implementation, enforcement, and potential legal challenges.
MHI has asked us all to join forces and reach out to Congress for action.
If you haven’t already, join MHI’s Call to Action to help support meaningful, but balanced and cost effective energy reform.
Texas Primary Runoff Election Results
The end of May concluded the Texas primary election with the runoff races coming to an end.
The highest profile runoff was for Texas Attorney General. Incumbent AG, Ken Paxton, convincingly defeated George P. Bush.
When Bush decided to challenge for AG, he left open his current position of TX Land Commissioner. State Senator, and long-time supporter of TMHA, Sen. Dawn Buckingham won the Republican primary (69%-31%.) and is positioned well to take over that state-wide job after the November general election. Sen. Buckingham supported several TMHA legislative initiatives over the years, and most notably she was the author of her bill that protects the right-to-replace manufactured homes within manufactured home communities, S.B 1248 from 2017.
Four state House members faced runoff races and broke recent trends that have not showed favorable results for incumbents in runoffs, when three of the four incumbents pulled out victories.
The three who won were Kyle Kacal (R-College Station 58%-42%) who has been an ally of TMHA, Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Wort 54%-46%) who accepted an amendment to her bill (and then passed into law) during the 2021 session that TMHA advocated for that would prohibit local closures of the MH industry based on disasters; and Glenn Rogers (R-Graford 52%-48%). The only incumbent to fall in the runoff was Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton) who lost to Stan Kitzman (R), 58%-42%.
TMHA supported former state Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) who defeated Raul Reyes Jr., 59%-41%, to bring him one step closer to returning to the Senate, especially considering the new composition of that state senate district that would now favor a Republican in a general election post-redistricting.
For U.S. Congress, another long-time MH advocate, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) defeated Jessica Cisneros (D) by just 281 votes, 50.2%-49.8%. On June 6, Cisneros has called for a recount.
For those interested in more election outcomes for several open seats, here are the full runoff results.
We now shift our focus to the November election.
Speaking of the November election, TMHA has kicked off our summer PAC fundraising efforts to help refill our PAC war chest to deploy in the general election come this fall. We strongly encourage our TMHA members to consider investing in TMHA’s PAC with your contributions, including with your annual membership renewals where we ask for at least a $60 contribution.
As it was clear in the recent runoff races, supporting members who support our industry is critical to our future legislative goals.