This from the Energy Committee about the town meeting article looking to adopt the stretch code, thereby become a Green Community, and thereby get the DOER $148,000 grant for doing so –
Vote YES on Article #34
Help Medfield qualify for a $148,000 Energy Savings grant.
Massachusetts regularly updates the State Building 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, would be 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.
Massachusetts has been recognized as the nations leader in energy efficiency for the past five years.* As Governor Baker said “Energy efficiency is the most cost effective, accessible way for Massachusetts to meet our clean energy goals and help ratepayers manage their energy costs. “
The Green Communities program, run by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), encourages towns in the state to cut their energy usage and to simplify siting of renewable energy.
Substantial dollar grants are given to towns that meet 5 Green Communities criteria:
#1 Provide siting for renewable energy
#2 Enable permitting within one year for renewable energy
#3 Develop a plan for reducing municipal energy use by 20% over 5 years
#4 Enact an energy efficient vehicle policy
#5 Minimize life-cycle cost for new construction
The Medfield Energy Committee has been working for 4 years to qualify Medfield as a Green Community and to earn a $148,000 grant with the potential of $250,000 annual grants thereafter.
- Criteria #1 & #2 were met by the Solar Photovoltaic By-Law passed at the 2014 Town Meeting.
- Criteria #4 was achieved when an Energy Efficient Vehicle Policy was adopted by the Select Board and School Committee in 2015.
- Criteria #3, a plan for 20% reduction in Town energy usage, is being developed by the Town Energy Manager, Andrew Seaman.
- Criteria #5, will be met by adopting the 9th edition of the Stretch Energy Code : Article #34
At the 2014 Town Meeting, a warrant article to adopt a Stretch Energy Code was voted down.
Now, 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 same Stretch Energy Code that was rejected at the April 2014 Town Meeting.
- The Stretch Energy Code 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.
- 161 Massachusetts towns have adopted the Stretch Energy Code
In summary: Building Energy Codes are a “stick” to make sure building life-cycle costs improve. DOER’s $148,000 grant is a “carrot” rewarding early adopters of Stretch Energy Code.
- Vote yes on Article #34 to get the “carrot” with the “stick”
- Vote no on Article #34 only get the “stick”
Article #34 supported by
- Board of Selectmen
- Warrant Committee
- Energy Committee
Permanent Building Committee.
* American Council for Energy- Efficient Economy and the US Department of Energy.