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Worcester Adopts Specialized Stretch Code

For Immediate Release: 10/31/2023 3:35 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester City Council voted to adopt the Opt-In Specialized Stretch Code on September 26, 2023, with an effective date of July 1, 2024.

Worcester adopted the original Building Energy Stretch Code in May 2010, making it one of the first municipalities in the state to do so. Worcester is leading the way again, becoming the first Gateway City in the state to adopt the Specialized Stretch Code.

This new code clarifies requirements for new buildings that are fully electric, but also allows construction of fossil-fueled new buildings while requiring them to be pre-wired for future full building electrification and solar systems. Virtually all other energy efficiency requirements, including those for changes to the existing buildings, stay aligned with the updated Stretch Code.

“This City Council’s vote was critical in helping the City meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals that we developed in the Green Worcester Plan in April 2021,” said John Odell, Chief Sustainability Officer. “We are working towards an ambitious goal of becoming a zero carbon emissions city by 2045 and building electrification will be key to achieving that.”

This new code will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also result in:

  • Higher levels of comfort for building occupants due to consistent indoor temperatures and quieter acoustics.
  • Healthier homes and offices due to cleaner indoor air quality.
  • Reduction of energy demand, which can reduce energy bills.

To learn more about the Specialized Stretch Code, go to

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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