NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 Toolkit Will Aid Municipalities in Adopting Higher Efficiency Standards in New and Renovated Construction Projects

October 10, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced best practice standards to advance more resilient and energy efficient buildings across the state. The release of the NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 (2020 NYStretch) toolkit will aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated building construction projects. Today’s announcement supports the State mandate for an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the most aggressive clean energy and jobs plan in the nation that puts New York State on a path to a carbon-neutral economy.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “As New York moves forward in pursuit of Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals to combat climate change, we continue identifying new ways to partner with communities in an effort to drive statewide greenhouse gas reductions. The release of the 2020 NYStretch and the supporting toolkit creates an opportunity for communities to lead at the local level by adopting higher efficiency standards for buildings that result in carbon emission reductions and cleaner, healthier communities across the state.”

Energy efficiency is a fundamental component of Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal and essential to meeting New York's ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals to combat climate change. With 30 percent of the state’s overall emissions coming from on-site fuel combustion in buildings and 15 percent from electricity generation, today’s announcement will help broaden the adoption of energy efficiency measures by increasing awareness of and helping to set minimum energy performance requirements for designing, constructing, and renovating buildings.

With guidance from a 25-member advisory group comprised of public and private stakeholders, NYStretch was developed by NYSERDA as a cost-effective statewide model code to help local New York jurisdictions meet their energy and climate goals. Communities that adopt and implement NYStretch will accelerate energy cost savings, reduce emissions from buildings, improve resiliency from power disruptions, and lower utility bills for New York consumers. In fact, NYStretch is expected to provide savings of roughly 11 percent in energy costs over the model energy codes that will be the basis for the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (2020 ECCC-NYS), with simple paybacks typically in the range of six to 12 years.

To assist interested municipalities in adopting 2020 NYStretch, NYSERDA is making available its toolkit to aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting and enacting NYStretch as a local requirement. The toolkit includes one-page fact sheets describing NYStretch and its benefits, a step-by-step adoption guide with model resolution language, estimated benefits and costs of meeting NYStretch for the most common new building construction projects, and frequently asked questions with responses. The toolkit is intended to aid municipalities in adopting higher efficiency standards in new and renovated construction projects in their community.

In addition to the toolkit, NYSERDA will provide direct, hands-on support to municipalities throughout the adoption and implementation process to help them make NYStretch a success. Communities will have access to staff and consultant support to more deeply understand the projected impacts, and will have access to a wide-range of trainings for code officials and building professionals to effectively implement the new code.

A stretch energy code is an energy code that is more efficient than the state’s base energy code. Among the cost-effective measures NYStretch includes are improved window performance, reduced interior and exterior lighting power and controls, building energy use monitoring, renewable and electric vehicle readiness and mandatory mechanical ventilation for residential buildings. When implemented and enforced effectively, a more efficient energy code requires higher performance levels for homes and commercial buildings, reducing the amount of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil used, leading to lower energy costs for current and future homeowners and renters and lower operating costs for small and large businesses located within the community. When embraced by municipalities, NYSERDA’s 2020 NYStretch will help drive the adoption of codes with higher performance goals, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately, advance progress toward a net zero energy code by 2030.

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The NYSERDA Stretch Code is a great tool for local governments to adopt a more restrictive local energy code in order to increase their efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. This is a first step in meeting the state’s aggressive clean energy goals of reducing 85 percent emissions by 2050. Thanks to the Governor’s initiative most buildings in the state will use renewable energy resources in another step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, and ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations."

Melanie E. La Rocca, Commissioner of the New York City Buildings Department said, “We are committed to driving down greenhouse gas emissions for the good of New Yorkers and the nation. We look forward to working with the state as we implement Mayor de Blasio’s groundbreaking Green New Deal to dramatically cut emissions in larger buildings – and dramatically improve the environmental health of our city and our people.”

Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng., 2019-20 ASHRAE President said, “NYStretch Energy Code-2020 incorporates ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016-Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, as an effective way to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for the design and construction of new buildings and their systems. For more than 40 years, Standard 90.1 has been a benchmark and technical minimum for codes and standards for commercial buildings around the world. We feel the release of this statewide toolkit is an exciting move forward in the recognition of energy reduction possibilities in buildings that are flexible, yet effective.”

Richard Yancey, FAIA, Executive Director, Building Energy Exchange said, “The Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex) commends New York State's leadership in transforming our buildings to be more resilient and part of the climate solution. The new NYStretch energy code promises to help curb harmful emissions from our building sector, and get us another step closer to the state’s ambitious goal of an 85 percent overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. NYSERDA’s supporting toolkit will help the building community implement higher efficiency standards and adopt industry-leading best practices. BE-Ex looks forward to helping our state’s great building decision-makers meet this critical challenge.”

John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council said, “The energy code is a powerful tool for improving building performance. Buildings play a critical role in addressing climate change, and NYStretch can help cities across the state move toward a lower-carbon future.”

New York State's Green New Deal

Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, putting the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind by 2024, and 1,700 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012.

The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates the Green New Deal's national leading clean energy targets: nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy. The CLCPA also directs New York State agencies and authorities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and aim to invest 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..