Many people have heard the term “going green” tossed around in a variety of conversations.
Marlborough’s 2008 Sustainability Action Plan defines the phrase, as pertaining to our community, as the goal for “the City of Marlborough as a whole to be smarter and more resourceful about the manner in which its people and goods are transported, buildings use energy, and waste is managed.”
In November, Marlborough city council adopted the Stretch Energy Code for energy efficiency. The new energy code is just one in a series of steps to create a greener Marlborough. Beginning July 1, 2011, builders will have the option to either build according to the current code or the new stretch energy code, which will become mandatory in January 2012.
“The benefit to the community is that new buildings built under this code will be more energy efficient, thus helping in the overall green house gas reduction goals which have been set. Our Green Communities designation goal is to reduce the city’s overall energy use by 20% in 5 years (beginning from a base year of 2009),” said Priscilla Ryder, Conservation Officer for the City of Marlborough.
The key difference is that under the new stretch energy code, new buildings will have to use 20% less energy than under the current code. Residential buildings will follow the Energy Star Homes Program, while commercial buildings will follow LEED energy modeling guidelines.
Although the new code will slightly increase building costs, they are outweighed by the benefits. These include lower utility costs, decreased GHG emissions, potential federal tax credit and a potential utility incentive through the Energy Star Home program.
For more information on ways to make your new home more energy efficient, visit the Massachusetts Energy Star Homes Web site.
The U.S Department of Energy offers an interesting interactive tool to help put into perspective how much different degrees of improving your home’s efficiency will affect energy and cost savings. Click here to check it out.
Stay tuned as we explore the different avenues in which Marlborough is working toward creating a healthier environment and community for future generations.