Chapter 25A of the General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after section 10 the following section:-
SECTION 10A. (a) For the purposes of this section “board” shall mean the board of building regulations and standards and “department” shall mean department of energy resources.
(b) The board, in consultation with the department, after sufficient time for public input that includes not less than 2 hearings in environmental justice communities as defined in Executive Order 552 but not more than one year after enactment of this section, shall establish a definition for “net zero buildings” to be established not more than 1 year after enactment of this section; provided, that the definition shall be designed to ensure that the building is highly energy efficient with all remaining electrical and thermal energy needed for the building supplied by renewable sources generated onsite or through approved, offsite locations or a combination of onsite and offsite; and provided further that said definition shall be used to update the current Stretch Energy Code in Appendix 115AA of the Massachusetts building energy code.
(c) The board in consultation with the department shall promulgate regulations that include the “net zero buildings” definition within Appendix 115AA of the Massachusetts building energy code or equivalent regulatory commitment to net zero standards as determined by the secretary of energy and environmental affairs; provided further that such regulations shall include a requirement to adopt and utilize such definition to develop a net zero stretch energy code to be fully implemented by 2030; provided further that said regulations shall be promulgated not later than two years following passage of this section; provided further that said regulations shall be reviewed and updated in increments of not less than three years and in alignment with the same cycle as the International Energy Conservation Code; provided further that the board in consultation with the department shall hold hearings to review such regulations and its updates including not less than 2 held in environmental justice communities as defined in Executive Order 552 for each review or update cycle with appropriate and reasonable advance notice to said communities.
(d) The board in consultation with the department shall implement the following in achieving the goals of this section: (1) the development of a tiered implementation plan for the adoption of a net zero building code as appropriate, such as phasing in net zero requirements based on building type or year a municipality adopted the Stretch Energy Code, with initial implementation of such plan commencing no later than three years following passage of this section; (2) accommodation for the needs of environmental justice communities as defined in Executive Order 552; and (3) consideration of the prioritization of regional renewable energy generation.
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