Net Zero for All Campaign

Massachusetts Needs a Real Net Zero Stretch Code!


Net Zero buildings, buildings that produce as much renewable energy as they consume, are better for our public health, for our environment, and for our communities. Net Zero design is predicated on three central pillars: energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy.  Net Zero housing is also an affordable option: Net Zero construction is not significantly more expensive than standard construction, and affordable housing is being built to net zero standards in Massachusetts right now!

If you are interested in getting involved with advocating for the Net Zero stretch code in your community, please contact [email protected]  

Status of the Net Zero Stretch Code in MA 

MCAN is currently mobilizing advocates to demand that the Mass. Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develop a true net zero stretch code that will ensure all new buildings and major gut rehabs:

  • Have healthy indoor air 
  • Are affordable to heat and cool
  • Reduce emissions by being all-electric and super energy efficient with renewable energy generated on-site or purchased off-site 

On February 8, 2022, DOER released a straw proposal of a specialized stretch code that municipalities can adopt by early 2023. 

MCAN Actions and Resources  

In response, MCAN submitted a sign-on letter to DOER with recommendations for improving the specialized stretch code -- this letter was signed by over 300 people from 100 cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

Check out MCAN's toolkit to support advocates in learning more about building code and how the specialized stretch code can be improved to align with the state's net zero emissions goals by 2050 while proritizing equity issues.

Check out this flyer developed by the MA Net Zero Buidings Coalition that provides a quick overview of what a true net zero stretch code must include. 

What's next? 

DOER is expected to release a formal specialized building code language for a second opportunity for public comments in early spring -- we will post the formal building code here so stay tuned!

The second (and last) opportunity for giving public comments will most likely be during summer 2022.  Stay tuned!

Learn more...

Showing 5 reactions

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  • Michael Sarcione
    commented 2022-08-04 14:32:17 -0400
    I applaud the effort here, and am new to the site. I’m disappointed though that the stretch plan isn’t more aggressive. If a good percentage of new construction was made to be better than Net 0 it would help offset the many buildings which may never undergo renovation or certainly not by 2030. I think about all of the second/seasonal homes in MA sitting empty much of the time which could have renewable energy plus storage. Our home produces more solar than we use and this we donate it to a nonprofit, could also go to marginalized in the community. Also, don’t see where the fragility of the grid infrastructure is discussed especially in rural areas where folks with all electric are vulnerable in major storms. Occasional emergency fuels (via existing natural gas/propane) via a dual fuel heat pump/furnace would at least allow them to shelter in place, minimize damage and life threatening cold and significantly drop fossil fuel use.These events will become more frequent as temps, storms etc. increase. Where’s the plans for distributed/resilient grids that connect renewable energy sources at the neighborhood level? Keep plugging, we have a long way to go and baby steps are good, but we need some “giant leaps” if we’re going to slow down the effects of climate change.
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    commented 2021-10-21 02:06:25 -0400
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  • Rose Shuker-Haines
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