On Dec. 23, the Department of Energy Resources released draft technical guidance for both the commercial and residential sections of the stretch and specialized opt-in energy codes.

The “stretch code” is an above-code appendix to the state’s base building energy code, designed to result in cost-effective construction that is more energy-efficient than what is built under the base code.

Since 2010, municipalities have had two options: the base energy code or the stretch code. In early 2022, the DOER offered draft language for a third option: the specialized code. Regulations for the new Specialized Municipal Opt-in Code were released last fall.

The draft guidance from the DOER is intended to help with the implementation of the updated stretch energy code, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and the new specialized opt-in code, which is now available for municipal adoption.

Compared to the stretch code, the specialized opt-in code has additional requirements for renewable energy generation and electric readiness, as well as some additional energy-efficiency measures.

The draft guidance explains how overlay energy codes work, identifies what’s new for the 2023 code cycle, and details information that will be crucial for implementing the new and updated codes.

For more information, visit the DOER’s stretch energy code website.

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