Friday, July 31, 2009
The Power of a White Roof
The New York Times ran a front page article about the energy savings of putting a white roof on a home. Evidently, white roofs which cost fractionally more than dark versions, can reduce air conditioning costs by 20 percent or more in hot sunny weather. The white EPDM torch down roof on the Oak Beach project is part of what earned it a perfect score on the H.E.R.S. scale (Home Energy Rating) by Energy Star. True, some renewable energy systems can be costly (photovoltaic, wind turbines, biodiesel) but clearly a white roof combined with efficient windows and proper insulation can be a cost effective way to reduce energy consumption. In fact, some scientists believe that if all of the world's roofs were white, it could save the equivalent of 24 billion metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions. Of course in cold climates, the roofing may not be as beneficial since heating costs outweigh cooling; however 'cool' roofing seems to be a logical trend in energy efficiency that's gaining some traction.