The North Carolina State Energy Office is joining with the makers and sellers of manufactured homes and the support of utility companies to help the state’s consumers cut utility bills and get money back for buying energy efficient homes. Buyers of manufactured homes will receive a $500 rebate when they purchase an ENERGY STAR-rated home. In addition to the cash back, homeowners will save about $74 per month – or $888 a year – on utility bills compared with a home of the same size that is not ENERGY STAR rated. In many cases, electric service providers are offering additional savings incentives when selecting energy-efficient homes. The Energy Office points out that a family purchasing a new ENERGY STAR Plus manufactured home in Raleigh that is 1,570 sq. ft. is estimated to save $73 each month compared with a standard manufactured home. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR Plus home will cost an estimated $25 per month in added monthly mortgage costs. Combined with the savings on utility bills, the total monthly home-ownership costs will actually be $48 less each month. The rebate program is sponsored, in part, by the State Energy Office with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also sponsoring the program is the North Carolina Manufactured and Modular Homebuilders Association. A special website, www.NCEnergyStarPlus.org, explains the program to North Carolina consumers and includes an easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank calculator so potential buyers can see for themselves how much an ENERGY STAR-rated manufactured home can save them. The site also includes a listing of manufactured home retailers participating in the program.