New Specialized Energy Code Takes Effect July 1 in Somerville

Adopted in January, the new building energy code has stricter requirements for energy efficiency and all-electric construction

Virtual information session for property owners on June 14

SOMERVILLE – On January 26, 2023, the City of Somerville adopted the State’s new Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Energy Code (“Specialized Code”). The code focuses on achieving net-zero buildings and will further the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, prepare facilities to utilize clean energy, and support the City’s Net-Zero Carbon-Negative by 2050 goal. The code goes into effect in Somerville on July 1, 2023.

Under the Specialized Code, all new construction in the city will be required to be all-electric or wired to allow a transition to all-electric in the future. The Specialized Code focuses on maximizing energy efficiency, reducing heating demands, and promoting efficient electrification. Buildings that use only electricity as an energy source, rather than fossil fuels, can eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions when the electricity comes from renewable sources. Somerville offers electricity through renewable sources through its Community Choice Electricity (CCE) program.

Additionally, updates to the Stretch Energy Code issued in 2022 by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources establish stricter energy-efficiency standards for nearly all new construction and major renovations in Somerville. The new requirements went into effect for residential buildings in January 2023 and go into effect for commercial buildings in July 2023. As a Stretch Code community, the recent updates automatically apply to Somerville.

The City of Somerville first adopted the Stretch Energy Code in 2011, setting a higher bar for energy performance of new buildings and major renovations, and the January 2023 adoption of the Specialized Code further builds on the work of the City’s climate action plan, Climate Forward.

The Office of Sustainability and Environment is hosting an information session about how the Specialized Code will impact residential property owners on Wednesday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. Register in advance for the meeting at The information session will be recorded and posted online for viewing after the event. For more information, contact Elyse Belarge, Sustainability Planner, at

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