Letter to the Editor
Help Medfield qualify for a $148,000 Energy Savings grant. Vote YES on Article #34.
The Medfield Energy Committee has been working for 4 years to designate the Town of Medfield as a Green Community. To qualify the Town needs to approve the Stretch Energy Code at the April 25th Town Meeting. Once Medfield is a Green Community it will receive an award of $148,000 with the potential of $250,000 annual grants thereafter from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.
The Massachusetts State Building Code includes a Base Energy Code. Massachusetts regularly updates the State Building Code, including the Base Energy Code, to improve quality, safety and energy efficiency of construction in the Commonwealth. The Building Code is the “stick” to encourage improvements in construction. By adopting the Stretch Energy Code, Medfield, like 161 other Massachusetts towns, becomes an early adopter of what eventually will become the next State Building Code. The “carrot” for Medfield to be an early adopter is a grant of $148,000 which will be used to improve Town building energy efficiency.
Medfield can get the “carrot” by approving the Stretch Energy Code if we vote yes on Article #34 of the Town meeting warrant. If it is voted down, Medfield gets the “stick” anyway in following years as the Base Energy Code is updated.
At the 2014 Town Meeting, the Stretch Energy Code warrant article was voted down.
In 2016, the situation has changed:
- The Massachusetts Building Code went into effect on July 1, 2014 with an updated Base Energy Code. The result is that today all new construction and renovation must meet a code that is basically the Stretch Energy Code that was rejected by the town at the April 2014 Town Meeting.
- The Stretch Energy Code we will vote on at this year’s Town Meeting does not include any new requirements for residential renovations or additions. The sole change from the Base Energy Code is the requirement for new residential construction to use a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured.
- For new commercial buildings, the Stretch Energy Code requires the construction to be 10% more efficient than the Base Energy Code.
The Energy Committee, the Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectman all support the Stretch Energy Code article.
Please plan to attend the April 25 Town Meeting and vote YES on Article #34.
Fred Bunger, Chair Medfield Energy Committee