Stretch Energy Code Development 2022

Department of Energy Resources' process for updating Stretch Energy Code & Specialized Stretch Energy Code

This page covers the Department of Energy Resources' process for updating the existing ‘Stretch Building Energy Code’ as well as the new ‘Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code’ according to the statutory requirements most recently updated by the Climate Act of 2021.

You can find links to the current 9th edition Massachusetts building energy code and stretch code at our Green Communities page and at the Office of Public Safety and Inspections and the integrated 2020 MA energy code book hosted by the International Code Council (ICC).

 

Table of Contents

NEW! Release of Final Code language for Stretch Code update and New Specialized Stretch Code

On September 23rd, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released final code language for its Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Municipal Opt-in Code:

DOER’s Final Regulations 225 CMR 22.00 and 225 CMR 23.00 have been submitted to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy in accordance with MGL Ch 25a Section 12. These regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State in December 2022.

Release of Draft Code language for Stretch Code update and New Specialized Stretch Code

On June 24th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released draft code language for its Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Municipal Opt-in Code:

DOER’s Draft Regulations 225 CMR 22.00 and 225 CMR 23.00 have been filed with the Secretary of State.

Public Comment process for the Draft Code Proposal

DOER is seeking public comments on the Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Stretch Code Draft Regulation, released on June 24, 2022, to inform the final code language. Written comments will be accepted until 5 PM on August 12th 2022.  Please submit written comments on the regulations electronically to stretchcode@mass.gov with the words BUILDING CODE COMMENTS in the subject line. Alternatively, comments can be submitted via mail to Ian Finlayson, Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114.

Public Hearings

DOER will hold three public hearings to receive verbal feedback.

 

Date

Time

Location

July 22, 2022

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581

August 2, 2022

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street, Quincy, MA 02169 

August 8, 2022

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Virtual (link to recording)

 

Interpretation services will be provided in American Sign Language, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. For interpretation services in other languages, please email a request to stretchcode@mass.gov by August 1, 2022.

 

Webinar

DOER provided an overview of the draft code language for its Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Municipal Opt-in Code, along with responses to frequently asked questions, during a recorded webinar on July 7, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.

View the slides from the July 7, 2022 Stretch Code Information Webinar.

View the July 7, 2022 Stretch Code Information Webinar Recording.

UPDATED - Public Comment Process for the New Specialized Stretch Code Straw Proposal

During the Spring of 2022, DOER sought feedback from the public on the Specialized Stretch Code Straw Proposal released on February 8 to inform further development of the code.  Feedback included  five virtual public hearings and written comments.

Virtual Hearings

Interpretation services were provided at all hearings in Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Each listed hearing includes a link to the recording of the event.

Hearing Focus Date
Western Region March 2, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Metro Boston and Northeastern Region March 3, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Environmental Justice Communities March 4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Central Region March 7, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Southeastern Region March 8, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

 

Written Comments

DOER received over 1,200 written comments by the deadline. Public comments are posted here

Additional Resources

Release of Straw Proposal for Stretch Code update and New Specialized Stretch Code

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) has released a Straw Proposal containing proposed updates to the existing Stretch Code and a framework for a new Specialized Stretch Code, for stakeholder review and comment. DOER held a virtual briefing on the Straw Proposal on Thursday February 8th, 2022 at 9:00 am EST.

DOER is seeking comment on this Straw Proposal and is holding geographically-targeted public hearings in late February/early March to receive verbal public comment. More information about the public hearings is posted to DOER's event page. DOER highly encourages written comments be submitted electronically to stretchcode@mass.gov with the subject line “Stretch Code Straw Proposal Comments.”

 

Deadline for public comment extended

The deadline for written comments on the Straw Proposal containing proposed updates to the existing Stretch Code and a framework for a new Specialized Stretch Code has been extended to 5 pm EST on Friday, March 18th, 2022. Written comments may also be submitted via mail to the Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114, attention Nina Mascarenhas. 

Please sign up here to receive future updates on the Stretch Code. 

Additional Resources

Technical Advisory Committee

The Technical Committee will review technical regulatory code language and provide ongoing support for reviewing any technical amendments to the code language in an advisory role to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The technical committee consists of members with strong subject matter expertise and knowledge of the building energy codes and best practices in low-carbon construction in both Massachusetts and around the country. Find the Technical Committee members and schedule at the Technical Committee Information Page.

 

Additional Resources

Stretch Code Backup Information – Early Release

Image of sample thermal energy density analysis

DOER utilized two expert consulting teams to analyze energy efficiency requirements to inform its update to the Stretch Energy Code.

The Stretch Energy Code Development Support Documentation page contains detailed documentation of assumptions and results on this analysis.

Additional Resources

2022 Updates

Three Tiers of Energy Code in Massachusetts

Base Energy Code

As part of the Green Communities Act of 2008, Massachusetts is required to update its building code every three years to be consistent with the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). In 2022 the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) plans an update of the full set of building codes to the MA 10th edition based on the ICC 2021 model codes. This includes an update of the base energy code to the IECC 2021 with MA amendments.

Stretch Energy Code

DOER, in consultation with the BBRS, is updating the Stretch energy code that is a key requirement for municipalities that are Green Communities.

Municipal Opt-In ‘Net-Zero’ Specialized Stretch Code

A new climate-focused energy code option was created by the 2021 Climate Act.  DOER is developing this new code alongside the Stretch Energy Code update. However, the specialized code must also include:

  • net-zero building performance standards
  • a definition of net-zero building
  • designed to achieve MA GHG emission limits and sub-limits including a 50% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 from 1990 levels

Additional Resources

2022-2023 Stretch Code Timeline

Spring 2022 

Following public outreach and input on the straw proposal, DOER plans to release an initial draft of the update to the Stretch Code and the new Specialized Opt-In Stretch Code language in Spring 2022. 

Summer 2022 


DOER will hold public hearings on the draft code language for the Stretch Code update and the New Opt-In Specialized Stretch Code in Summer 2022 

Fall 2022 

After reviewing public comment, DOER will revise the code language as required and publish the final update to the Stretch Code and the New Opt-In Specialized Stretch Code in Fall 2022 

 

Stretch Code In Massachusetts

299 The number of stretch code communities as of Jan 1, 2022, covering 90% of the state population.
51 The average HERS rating for new homes in MA in 2020

Contact

Online

MA Stretch Energy Code stretchcode@mass.gov

Address

100 Cambridge St.
Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02116
Last updated: February 7, 2022
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