From a 6/9 Efficiency Vermont/Burlington Electric Department joint press release:
First Zero Energy Modular Home in Burlington Delivered to North Ave Community
Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric, and North Avenue Co-op partner to promote affordable housing
Burlington, VT – Today a new type of home was delivered to the North Avenue Co-op, a resident-owned manufactured home community in Burlington, VT. An alternative to manufactured housing, this modular home came from the VERMOD factory in Wilder, VT, where it was designed and built for maximum energy efficiency, affordability, durability, and health.
The new structure is a zero energy modular (ZEM) home. Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department are partnering to promote ZEM homes as an affordable and sustainable housing solution, with a special focus on mobile home replacement. The home will serve as a resource and educational tool for the North Avenue Co-op community to demonstrate the benefits and features of a ZEM home.
Mobile and manufactured homes are generally energy-inefficient and particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Vermonters living in mobile and manufactured homes spend 66 percent more of their income on energy than owners of stick-built homes. In 2011, mobile and manufactured homes represented seven percent of the state’s housing stock, a large portion of which were damaged or destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene.
“Concerns about high energy costs and a lack of resilient housing stock in Vermont are mounting and the need for more stable and reliable options is clear,” said Karen Glitman, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “By combining energy efficient building practices and technologies, and collaborative partnerships, the ZEM program is bringing healthy, affordable housing to Vermonters.”
ZEM homes are constructed with high-quality materials on a frost-protected foundation and are built to Efficiency Vermont’s highest building certification tier. All ZEM homes also are equipped with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays that produce as much energy as they use over the course of one year. This translates into no electric or heating costs for the homeowners. With a 30-year mortgage, up to $50,000 in incentives from Burlington Electric Department, Champlain Housing Trust, and others, and minimal maintenance costs, ZEM homes in suitable locations provide an affordable option to homebuyers with savings that last the life of the home.
Support and assistance from Mayor Miro Weinberger, his Administration team, and other community partners helped the residents of the North Avenue Co-op purchase the park from its former owner in 2015. The 117 households in the park now own the community and manage it as a cooperative, providing critical affordable housing within the City of Burlington.
“Over the past year we have worked hard to remove several abandoned homes from our community,” said Stephen Hamlin, President of the North Avenue Co-op board. “This partnership with Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric is allowing us to fill one of those vacancies with a different option for affordable, healthy, housing.”
“I congratulate the North Avenue Co-op on its progress in addressing the long-standing neighborhood problem of abandoned trailers,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “It is exciting to see the Co-op and its partners creating new, innovative, green, affordable housing options and to know that this new housing will help Burlington achieve its vision of becoming a net zero energy city.”
To date, the Efficiency Vermont ZEM program has partnered with utilities and local affordable housing organizations to place over 70 ZEM homes across Vermont. The North Avenue Co-op home is the first ZEM home in Burlington.
Prospective buyers of the model home are encouraged to inquire for more information about pricing and income-based subsidies. Additional support for the educational mission of this project comes from the High Meadows Fund, VLITE, and Jane’s Trust Foundation. To schedule a tour of the model home contact Phoebe Howe at Efficiency Vermont: firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 540-7855.