In Massachusetts, cities and towns are required to follow a single state building and energy code. However, as concerns mount about rising energy costs, national dependence on foreign energy sources and climate change, many municipalities have asked the state for the right to adopt a code with a stronger energy efficiency component. As part of the Green Communities Act of 2008, Massachusetts has developed a second tier building code that gives cities and towns the ability to choose stronger energy performance in buildings. This optional energy code is known as the ‘stretch code’. This ‘stretch code’ increases the energy efficiency code requirements for new construction (both residential and commercial) and for major residential renovations or additions in municipalities that adopt it.
If Acton adopts the stretch code, we will reduce energy bills for Acton homeowners and businesses, reduce use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. The on-going savings through reduced energy costs rapidly recoup the modest added cost for new construction and renovations and savings continue throughout the lifetime of each building.
In addition, adopting the Stretch Code would help Acton become eligible for Green Community state grants that will provide up to $10 million annually to fund programs such as efficiency initiatives, renewable energy projects and innovative programs.
See the FAQs and presentations below for more detailed information.