BC Hydro customers are also encouraged to report suspected fraud to their local police department. (File photo)

A new report from BC Hydro says mobile homes gobble power, putting their primarily senior or low-income residents at a disadvantage.

The report released Tuesday by the Crown utility finds manufactured homes use 50 per cent more electricity per square foot than the average single-family residence.

The study finds a mobile home that is about the size of an average apartment uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a townhouse twice its size.

BC Hydro says limited insulation plus reliance on space heaters and portable air conditioners increases electricity use, with 20 per cent of mobile home residents saying they use a space heater and more than half owning an air conditioner.

The utility says more than 70,000 of its customers live in a mobile home, giving B.C. one of the highest concentrations of the units in Canada, with more than 60 per cent of residents over the age of 60.

Hydro's report says its rebates and incentives, including up to $2,000 for an energy-efficient heat pump, can assist the 75 per cent of those budget-challenged residents who say they are interested in saving electricity and cutting costs.