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City Approves Stretch Energy Code

Nov 19, 2010

Adopts new rules that will achieve 20% energy efficiency improvement for new construction in Boston

On Wednesday, November 17, the Boston City Council unanimously approved a proposal submitted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to adopt stricter energy efficiency regulations for new buildings in the City of Boston. The “stretch code” requires new residential and commercial buildings to achieve approximately 20% better energy efficiency than is required by the state’s base energy code. Rather than requiring developers to install specific efficiency measures, the new code allows the flexibility to choose cost effective and appropriate green design solutions.

“Boston has once again shown that our city is on the cutting edge of environmental policy and sustainable development,” said Mayor Menino. “The adoption of this new energy code keeps Boston at the forefront of innovation in high performance green buildings while helping save property owners and tenants on utility bills, reducing our carbon footprint, and growing the local clean tech economy.”

In January 2007, Boston became the first city in the nation to require adherence to the United States Green Building Council’s LEED standards as part of its zoning review process. This new energy proposal comes from the Mayor’s Climate Action Leadership Committee report, which was presented to Mayor Menino on Earth Day in April 2010. The climate action plan establishes the roadmap for reducing Boston’s carbon footprint 25% over the next 10 years. After considering the recommendations in the report, Mayor Menino submitted the “stretch code” ordinance to the City Council on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. A public hearing was held on Friday, November 12, 2010 and the ordinance was approved unanimously by the Council on Wednesday, November 17, 2010. The new rules will take effect in July 2011.

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