Stringency: The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) is in the process of adopting the 2012 IECC (expected summer 2013) with state-specific amendments for both residential and commercial buildings, as the updated statewide baseline energy code. This update is supported by the Massachusetts Green Communities Act of 2009’s requirement to adopt each new IECC edition within one year of its publication. Massachusetts also has a “stretch” energy code option for local jurisdictions. Where adopted, the stretch energy code replaces the baseline IECC code as a mandatory minimum energy code, which focuses on energy performance requiring HERS rating for residential homes and ASHRAE Appendix G/LEED modeling for large commercial buildings. The current stretch energy code is 15-20% more stringent than the 2009 IECC and similar in stringency to the 2012 IECC. To date (May 30, 2013) the stretch energy code has been adopted by 131 out of 351 municipalities in Massachusetts, representing about 50% of the state population.
Compliance (2013 Survey Responses):
- Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: The MA Department of Energy Resources and Department of Public Safety have been collaborating on strategies for improving energy code compliance, including the addition of continuing education requirements, and associated training. The compliance studies mentioned below provided insight into compliance risks and opportunities.
- Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In the past two years Massachusetts’ utilities have completed a 2011-12 study of commercial building energy code compliance and a two-part residential building energy code compliance study. The first part of the residential study jointly funded by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and utilities sampled homes built to the 2006 IECC, homes built to ENERGY STAR (over a third of new construction), the second part assessed compliance to the 2009 IECC. The residential studies show code compliance rates of over 90% for HERS rated (stretch code and ENERGY STAR homes), and over 80% in IECC 2006 homes. Enforcement is performed by local building code officials. In the 131 towns and cities that have elected to adopt the state’s ‘stretch’ energy code, enforcement of the building energy code is greatly assisted by the integrated role of HERS raters in performing building envelope testing and documenting code compliance levels of energy performance. Code compliance in these communities is estimated at close to 100% for residential buildings, and energy savings are clearly documented by the performance-based HERS rating approach.
- Utility Involvement: A framework of savings attribution for utilities is being developed.
- Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
- Training/Outreach: The Green Communities Act requires the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) and DOER to develop specific energy efficiency training and certification for all local code officials. No training has been conducted to date in 2013 as MA awaits code cycle updates to the 2012 IECC / ASHRAE 90.1-2010.
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