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Residential and Commercial Buildings in Massachusetts Could be Impacted by the Stretch Code

Homeowners aren’t the only ones thinking about how they can lower their energy expenses. The entire state of Massachusetts shares the concern and wants to do everything possible to lower the amount of energy used in the state. Recent legislation has been approved which should have a huge impact on the state’s energy efficiency. The legislation is called stretch code.

If you live in Massachusetts and already have a home, you don’t have to worry about the stretch code. However if you’re in the process of building a new residence, or have decided to have a manufactured home moved onto an empty lot, the stretch code will impact your life, before it gets approved, the building must be certified energy efficient.

The stretch code has been drafted in such a way that both commercial and residential buildings will have to adhere to the changes. In addition to newly built buildings, if you are in the process of extensively renovating a building your currently own, you’ll also be impacted by the legislation. The rule of thumb is that, if your renovation is large enough and significant enough to require you applying for a building code, you’ll have to adhere to the newly adopted stretch code. Currently the renovation criterion only applies to commercial buildings, and not residential structures, though that could change. There will be some exceptions. The way the law is currently written, buildings designed in such a way as to have different energy usage needs could be exempt from the stretch code.

As of right now, cities and towns don’t have to adopt the stretch code, it’s still optional at the local level, however, many cities have already embraced the new policy. Partly because by making homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient residents and business owners will have more money available to pump into the local economy, and partly because implementing the stretch code allows the cities and villages to take advantage of some Green Community grants.

While it’s possible some people will notice a slight increase in the cost of building their home or commercial business, most contractors aren’t too concerned about the stretch code. Honest contractors have been working hard to make new buildings as energy efficient as they possibly can for years, their current practices meet, and in some cases, exceed the standards now being enforced by the new stretch code. For individuals who do notice an increase in the cost of their construction or renovation process, the change should be minimal. At most, the total cost of the project shouldn’t increase more than 3%, and based on the amount of energy you can anticipate saving after the completion of the project, you’ll recoup that cost in lower energy bills after just 12 months.

If you’re concerned about the stretch code Bridgewater MA, you need to check in with the experts at Energy Code Help. More information is available at Home Energy Raters LLC

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