From Lowell to Springfield, Williamstown to Mashpee, and 100 municipalities in between, Waltham is the latest community to adopt new energy efficiency standards for both residential and commercial buildings. On October 27, Maynard claimed the 100th spot on the list of communities to adopt the so-called Stretch Code. Since then four more communities have joined, the latest being Waltham, which adopted the code on November 14. This means 2.9 million people in Massachusetts, more than 45 percent of the population, live in communities dedicated to an energy efficient future.
The code – which requires approximately 20 percent greater energy efficiency than the current base energy codes – increases energy efficiency requirements for construction of all new residential and most commercial buildings. These codes also apply to the renovation of, or additions to, residential homes that necessitate building code requirements. The adoption of these measures will cut annual energy costs for the homeowners and businesses that occupy these buildings.
The 104 communities that have adopted the Stretch Code have satisfied one of five criteria necessary to earn the title of a Green Community. The cities and towns that have satisfied all five criteria and become Green Communities are part of a DOER program that has distributed more than $15 million in renewable energy and conservation grants to the eligible communities. The DOER has designated 74 Green Communities, with 21 gaining recognition just this past summer. We hope the success of adopting the Stretch Code is the first step, and added incentive, for these towns and cities to satisfy all five criteria in order to be designated a Green Community.
The efforts of Massachusetts’ residents and communities have solidified the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in energy efficiency policies, programs, and savings. Serving as models for the remaining municipalities across Massachusetts, these 104 communities are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs by lowering energy consumption.
Newton was the first to adopt the Stretch Code. Waltham will not be the last.
Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar posted on Aug 20
The results of the Solarize Mass 2013-2014 two rounds managed to surpass numbers from the previous two years. Close to 1,500 contracts were signed and a total of nearly 10 megawatts of solar installed. During 2013’s first round, ten communities participated, and for the second round that ended this past June, another fifteen communities were chosen.
Carbon Neutral? A Closer Look at University Claims posted on Aug 14
The five UMass university campuses have made enormous progress towards carbon neutrality. In particular, UMass Amherst has demonstrated impressive environmental leadership and received an Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Leading by Example award for achieving a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions three years ahead of its 2012 goal.
Door-to-Door Campaign Reaps Energy Efficiency Gains posted on Aug 1
Greenfield sent program specialists from Energy Smart Homes door-to-door to answer questions, explain the energy auditing process, and plan retrofit projects. So far, home energy assessments in Greenfield have taken place at four times the statewide rate.