Essex is a Stretch Energy Code Community.
What does this mean?
Massachusetts became the first state to adopt an above-code appendix to the IECC base energy code- the “Stretch Code”. The Stretch Code, which emphasizes energy performance, as opposed to prescriptive requirements, is designed to result in cost-effective construction that is more energy efficient than that built to the IECC base energy code.
Stretch Code Compliance:
In order to meet the requirements of the Stretch Code, builders must hire a certified HERS Rater, like Home Energy Raters, to perform a series of tests (HERS Rating) to determine if the home meets energy code compliance. New homes being built in these municipalities must follow the Performance Path and get a HERS score of 55 or less. Many renovations in these towns also require a HERS Rating and must get a HERS score of 65 or less.
Most municipalities in Massachusetts have adopted the Stretch Code – take a look at the map below to see if the town/city you are building in has adopted this new energy code. For more information about about the Stretch Code, check out out our “Stretch Code Q&A” article.