Having become effective on December 28, 2022, several communities have moved quickly to adopt the Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code promulgated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) pursuant to the climate bill enacted by the Legislature in 2021. The cities of Cambridge, Somerville and Watertown were the first to adopt the code by vote of their city councils. Brookline followed suit at a Special Town Meeting held in January. In all of these communities, the Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code will become mandatory beginning on July 1, 2023.
Newton’s city council recently voted to adopt the Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code effective January 1, 2024. Wellesley will consider a warrant article at its Annual Town Meeting on March 27 to do so also, with an effective date of January 1, 2024. And Mayor Michelle Wu recently announced that she will seek city council approval for Boston to join these communities in adopting the code.
The Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code may be adopted by any of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts by either a vote of a city council or at Town Meeting. While the regulations do not require a concurrency period under which a building can be constructed under either the existing Base Code or Stretch Energy Code, the DOER is encouraging municipalities to provide for a minimum 6-month delayed effective date following local approval so that projects can be designed or revised to comply with the new code.