|Let DOER know we are paying attention; what they are proposing is NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Submit comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Stretch Code Straw Proposal Comments. Here’s a draft letter you can modify; email to DOER by 5pm, March 9.
Example of a general letter to DOER from individuals:
Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020
Re: Stretch Code Straw Proposal Comments
Boston, MA 02114
Dear Commissioner Woodcock, Secretary Theoharides, and Secretary Kennealy,
I am a Massachusetts resident who wants to see safer, healthier, more affordable buildings that help us meet our critical climate emission targets this decade and beyond. The building code is a powerful tool to accelerate the transition off fossil fuels and ensure that rapid change happens in an equitable way that addresses historic injustice, especially related to housing.
The draft Specialized Stretch Code that DOER presented for public review on February 8th, is inadequate. This code is designed as an opt-in code that municipalities can choose not to adopt. This proposed code is not sufficient in that it allows fossil fuels in newly constructed buildings, which is at odds with every standard and professional definition of net zero. This means that residents, tenants, and owners of newly constructed fossil fuel buildings will bear the cost of expensive fossil fuel heating and other appliances for years to come, appliances that also increase indoor air pollution. New buildings with fossil fuel systems will need to be decarbonized with efficient electric appliances down the line, in the meantime, sustaining fossil fuel use for decades.
Net zero energy buildings are being constructed now, have minimal to no additional upfront costs, significantly lower operating costs, much lower immediate and long-term GHG emissions, and healthier indoor air quality.
I ask that DOER adhere to the mandate in the Next Generation Roadmap bill signed by Governor Baker in March 2021 by developing a net zero stretch energy code that:
- Is implemented in January 2023.
- Ensures newly constructed buildings are truly net zero, constructed with high energy efficiency; efficient, all-electric heating/cooling and cook stoves; powered with renewable energy on or off-site; and built with currently available low embodied carbon materials such as lower GHG-emitting refrigerants and low-carbon concrete.
- Centers on environmental justice (EJ) and frontline communities, by leading to affordable energy bills and healthy indoor air quality.
- Includes workforce development training in net zero energy construction and appliance installation and maintenance, focusing on educational opportunities for residents of EJ communities which strengthen our economy in an equitable way.
- Applies to existing buildings with major rehabilitation projects.
- Requires all buildings to install efficient heat recovery or energy recovery ventilation for occupant health.
- Allows only Green Communities who adopt the net zero stretch code to be eligible to compete for the entire pool up to $10 million in the first round of its grant applications following adoption of this code and provides communities with three years to adopt the code.
A true net zero energy building code is essential to meeting our Commonwealth’s 2030 and 2050 mandated greenhouse gas emission (GHG) targets, and accelerated electrification of buildings is featured as a key component of the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan designed for achieving the critical interim 2030 GHG objective.
Thank you for considering these recommendations for strengthening the Specialized Stretch Code to make it a true net zero code. Sincerely
More suggestions for action are in the toolkit.