By Molly Cox
Residential Green Building Committee Meeting: 4/11/16
The Residential Green Building Committee gathered for a meeting on April 11th, 2016. We started out by discussing some upcoming events within the chapter, which include the Policy Podium: Auto Populating the MLS with EE and Solar PV Content on April 14th. Register HERE for this event, and listen to our very own Craig Foley speak further on this issue. He is working to populate the MLS with solar PV fields, which will expedite the process for realtors and their clients. We also have the Building Blueprint: WELL Building Standard on April 19th, which will explore the certification itself and the all encompassing advantages it has for both the environment and human health, register HERE. Last but certainly not least, the Building Tech Forum hosted by USGBC is on April 21st, register HERE for this event.
Our Committee continued to discuss policy announcements in MA, such as the recent raise in net metering caps for solar PV projects. The House agreed to raise the caps by 3% for private and public solar installations, and Governor Charlie Baker made it official by signing off on April 11th. While smaller private projects under 25kw and large municipal and commercial projects will continue to reap the benefits of net metering at full retail rate, private systems over 25kw will receive a cut of 40% from the retail rate. While this bill is a compromise for both utilities and solar users, we hope to see further net metering improvements, as this 3% increase may not be sustainable for long.
As we brainstormed ideas for events we would like to host as a Committee this year, we received an update on the Integrated Energy Efficiency Program, lead by Peter Sun, Mark Pignatelli and Brian Butler. Their goal is to streamline the permit-pulling process, by making visible all energy efficiency incentives to the developer or contractor pulling the permit. One of the challenges is understanding how to move this program along and finding the right people to implement it. Focusing on feedback from developers who have experience pulling permits will be beneficial in order to understand what they are lacking.
We also look forward to some speakers coming up in the near future, such as Garrett Anderson from the Cambridge Housing Authority, Declan Keefe from Placetailor, and more. Stay tuned!