On buildings, the bill includes two major challenges to Baker administration policies, said Senator Michael Barrett. One deals with a new net-zero energy code that was required by last year’s climate law. The intent of the law was to allow towns, such as Brookline, to ban fossil fuels in new construction if they so choose. But when the Baker administration released the code earlier this year, it still allowed for natural gas hookups.
“There’s been a battle with the administration about whether the so-called stretch net-zero energy code will give cities and town the option of going all electric in new construction, or whether natural gas hook-ups will be at the discretion of the builder,” said Barrett, who was the primary architect of the Senate bill, and who wrote the 2021 climate law.