Contact: Holly Hutchinson, Project Coordinator, 607-272-1720,

50 low-to-moderate income mobile home owners in Tompkins County will receive support to upgrade their homes with high efficiency heat pumps as part of a Sustainable Finger Lakes pilot program funded by a Tompkins Community Recovery Fund grant.

Location: Tompkins County, New York

Affordable housing and an equitable transition to clean energy just got a boost from a new program launched by Sustainable Finger Lakes (SFLX). The ‘Electrify Tompkins! Energy and Equity for Lower-Income Mobile Homes’ pilot project will provide support to 50 low-to-moderate income (LMI) mobile home owners in Tompkins County to upgrade their homes with high efficiency heat pumps and larger capacity electric panels. Qualified mobile home owners will also receive assistance in accessing incentives for completing insulation and air sealing to assure their homes meet strong efficiency standards prior to the installation of the heat pumps.

Thirty percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in New York State come from buildings. As our state and county move towards clean energy, residents who are low-to-moderate income could be left behind if additional support is not available to help them transition to high-efficiency electric heating and cooling.

Tompkins County has set a climate goal of reducing emissions 80% by 2050, but inefficient housing occupied by LMI households presents a significant equity challenge to achieving that goal. Gay Nicholson, President of SFLX made the argument that “The upfront costs of the transition to clean energy are significant for all of society, but impossible to manage for those on modest incomes. If we do not want to leave anyone behind in the transition, we must find ways to subsidize participation by lower-income households.”

Sustainable Finger Lakes has been a leader in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and inequality. Their Finger Lakes Climate Fund has provided gap-funding for 86 home energy upgrades to lower-income families in the Finger Lakes Region since it launched in 2010. With funding support from NYSERDA, they helped an additional 33 LMI households switch to heat pumps in 2019-2020, and launched a pilot project this past January to get heat pumps into 100 LMI rental units in Ithaca.

“Mobile Homes are often invisible in our community conversations about affordable housing, energy efficiency, and climate change adaptation. While mobile homes are a form of affordable housing, utility costs can be a very large percentage of a mobile home owner’s overall housing costs, especially if air sealing and insulation are lacking. This pilot project will allow us to support mobile home residents in tightening up their homes and making the transition to high-efficiency electric heating and cooling for improved comfort, health, and long- term affordability of their homes” said Holly Hutchinson, Project Coordinator.

Mobile home owners can find out if they are eligible for the program by scheduling a meeting with the Project Coordinator at

The Mobile Home Pilot Project is funded in part by the Tompkins Community Recovery Fund (TCRF). The TCRF was established by the Tompkins County Legislature and distributed $6.53m of American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funding to communities and organizations for the benefit of Tompkins County residents.

Sustainable Finger Lakes is a community-based organization whose mission is to promote the long-term well-being of our region by integrating social equity, economic vitality, ecological stewardship, and shared responsibility. Since 2004, SFLX has been a leader in laying the groundwork for the transition to a resilient local economy, healthy environment, and strong social fabric. More information about the Mobile Home Pilot Project can be found here