How do the benefits and costs from the commercial stretch code standards compare to the baseline code?
Case studies of specific buildings by Massachusetts utility companies National Grid and NSTAR show that the savings in reduced energy costs far exceed the greater initial construction costs. If the costs are included in a mortgage, then owners would see immediate cash-flow savings. Moreover, the utilities offer generous incentives that make the efficiency improvements even more profitable.

For example, on one mid-sized office building in Warwick, Rhode Island, the additional cost was $91,000, while the annual energy savings were $29,500, for a 3-year payback. But NGRID provided a rebate of $63,100, reducing the initial cost to $28,000, which is covered by the 1st year’s energy savings. More generally, we anticipate that any additional upfront costs incurred in construction should be recovered from energy savings with a payback after rebates of less than 3 years.

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1. How is the stretch energy code different than the existing energy code?
2. What is the anticipated cost of implementing a more stringent energy code?
3. What kinds of technical and financial help are available to property owners and contractors?
4. What building types does the stretch energy code apply to?
5. Does the stretch code apply to major renovation projects as well as new construction?
6. Does the stretch code apply to minor additions to existing buildings?
7. What happens to buildings not covered by the stretch energy code?
8. What standards are the stretch code appendix based on?
9. What is required for large new commercial buildings above 100,000 square feet?
10. What is required for new commercial buildings between 5,000 and 100,000 square feet?
11. What would be required of small new commercial buildings, below 5,000 square feet?
12. How are new commercial buildings with special energy needs handled?
13. How do the benefits and costs from the commercial stretch code standards compare to the baseline code?
14. What categories do multifamily residential buildings fall into?
15. What training and materials are available on these standards?
16. How would the stretch code be implemented and enforced?
17. How does the stretch code work with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings?
18. Does the stretch code require 3% renewable electricity or solar panels?
19. Where can I find and read more about the stretch code appendix?