An energy efficient building code that still allows the combustion of fossil fuels is not helping Massachusetts achieve its goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Because of the state’s Net Zero goals outlined in Gov. Baker’s Clean Energy Climate Plan, new homes will have to either be built to Net Zero now or be retrofitted later. It is less expensive to both the state and owners to build Net Zero buildings now than to retrofit buildings down the line. But cities and towns are prohibited from exceeding the state’s “stretch” code (a building code that requires higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings than the base code) even while many developers are already building to Net Zero standards at little to no a to no additional cost (ReadyforNetZero_03.01.21.pdf).
That’s why Massachusetts needs a new “Net Zero” stretch code that includes the use of renewable energy instead of gas or oil.
To keep the pressure up to guarantee that the Net Zero stretch code developed by the Department of Energy Resources is truly Net Zero, please consider:
1) Writing to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (Dan.P.Walsh@mass.gov) to let them know that a true Net Zero stretch code means building safe and healthy housing, affordable to heat and cool, and effective in mitigating climate change. A true Net Zero stretch code transforms our buildings from a major source of emissions to being part of the climate solution.
2) Share the news on your favorite social media and include any and all of the following hashtags: #NetZeroForAll, #NetZeroNow, #ProtectOurAir, #ElectrifyEverything, #AllElectric, #PassOnGas, #GasFreeHomes, #CleanEnergy, #AirPollution·
Harvard Study estimates burning fossil fuels for buildings costs Massachusetts $8.4 billion in annual health impacts
An interactive map shows health impact of building emissions by state