Wednesday, November 12, 2014

USGBC MA Hosts Senator Eldridge for Discussion on Net Zero Energy Buildings

by Michael Sigmon, Sterritt Lumber, FSC Sales Broker

            On November 10th, the RGBC had the pleasure of hosting Senator Jamie Eldridge (D – Acton) for our monthly presentation. This highly anticipated event did not disappoint. In a true roundtable discussion fashion, Senator Eldridge gave us insight into what the legislature is doing for green building in the residential community.

            Senator Eldridge’s commitments to the environment, and green building in particular were made very clear from the start. As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, he seeks “to investigate the issues involving global warming and climate change, including but not limited to carbon emissions, greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energies.” Senator Eldridge also serves on the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, where he focuses on renewable energy. It is very clear he is committed to “greening” the Metro West!

            Some of Senator Eldridge’s accomplishments include filing bill S.1587, to  promote zero net-energy buildings in the Commonwealth, by requiring a 30% more energy efficiency standard than the international code. Also, Eldridge was instrumental in passing the 2010 PACE legislation.

            While Senator Eldridge actively advocates for investing more in green energy, he acknowledged we can still do much more. Education for the general public can always be improved, and he seeks to limit confusion on energy codes for the masses. Other topics discussed included deep energy retrofit programs, tax incentives for green building, and progressive residential champions, such as Carter Scott’s initiatives. We also learned that when a bill is “put to study,” it is a nice way of saying it is “put to pasture!”

            Most importantly, the group discussed what we can do as citizens and colleagues to help advocate for bills beneficial to green building. Senator Eldridge was receptive to scheduling a visit to the statehouse where experts could speak to the bills and issues, and recognized it is these individuals that can make a huge difference in educating the masses. To stay up to date with Senator Eldridge’s initiatives visit

Thank you Senator Eldridge!

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