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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Building Energy Code   

Last DSIRE Review: 12/10/2014
Program Overview:
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Residential Code:Eighth Edition, Massachusetts Building Code Residential Volume (780 CMR) -- Chapter 61 stipulates that new homes comply with 2012 IECC, with MA amendments.
Commercial Code:Eighth Edition, Massachusetts Base Building Code (780 CMR) -- Chapter 13 stipulates that new buildings comply with 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010, with MA amendments.
Code Change Cycle:The state Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) is required to revise the building code to the latest version of the IECC every three years. Public hearings are held each May and November to consider proposed modifications to the code. Most recent update effective July 1, 2014.
Web Site:

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP web sites.

The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards has authority to promulgate the Massachusetts State Building Code (MSBC). The energy provisions in the MSBC were developed by the Board's Energy Advisory Committee. The state's 351 cities and towns enforce the code. Only a building code board of appeals, consisting of specified technical members, may grant a variance to the code.

The 8th Edition of the Massachusetts Commercial Building Code became effective on February 5, 2011 and the 8th Edition of the Residential Code became effective on July 1, 2011. However, the most recent amendments to both the residential and commercial energy codes became effective on July 1, 2014. For more information about the current editions of the codes, see the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS).

Stretch Code

In 2009, an optional strech code was developed in response to the call for improved local building energy efficiency in the state. Towns and cities may adopt Appendix 115 AA as an alternative to the base energy efficiency requirements of 780 CMR. The stretch code is currently based on 2009 IECC, even though the "non-strech" provisions of the building code are now based on the 2012 IECC. The stretch code is designed to be 20% more efficient than the 2009 IECC. 

Switching to the "stretch code" is one of the criteria required for local communities to qualify for the DOER's Green Communities Grant Program.There are 146 communities, including Boston, that have adopted the stretch code in Massachusetts (as of October 2014). 


Legislation enacted in July 2008 (S.B. 2768) authorized the Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards to adopt the most recent International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as part of the state building code, together with any more stringent energy efficiency provisions that the board, in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), concludes are warranted. The energy provisions of the state building code must be updated within one year of any revision to the IECC. 

For more information on the energy provisions of the Massachusetts Building Code, see Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs Building Energy Codes Web site.

  Tom Riley
State Board of Building Regulations and Standards
One Ashburton Place, RM 1301
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 727-3200
Fax: (617) 227-1754
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.