Leading the Nation in Efficiency: Maynard Becomes the 100th Town to Adopt Massachusetts’ “Stretch Code”

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Ben Wright

Environment Massachusetts

In an important step for energy efficiency, the Department of Energy Resources announced yesterday that more than 100 cities and towns in Massachusettshave adopted the “stretch code,” an optional set of energy efficiency standards for homes and businesses that is up to 20% more efficient than the base requirements. Manyard and Shirley this week became the 100th and 101st towns, respectively, to adopt this progressive code.

This announcement comes on the heels of a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy that ranked Massachusetts first in the country for forward-thinking energy efficiency policies. “The stretch code is a big part of the reason why we are leading the nation in energy efficiency right now” stated Ben Wright, advocate at Environment Massachusetts. “In fact, the new national standard will look a lot like Massachusetts’ stretch code, because we demonstrated here in Massachusetts that stronger building codes work.

Wright says that adopting the stretch code will help in the fight against global warming. “54 percent of the energy used in Massachusetts goes to heating, cooling, and powering our buildings. By tacking the issue of energy waste in buildings, we can dramatically reduce global warming pollution while saving energy consumers money right away. It’s a win-win.”

Wright also called on the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to “be bold” when developing the new version of the stretch code over the next year. “The rest of the nation now sees the value of efficiency standards, and they’ll soon catch up to Massachusetts’ stretch code. We have the capacity to go even further with today’s energy-saving technologies, and we should do so.”