Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Roofs are Good for the Bottom Line

From a bottom-line perspective, the major benefit of a cool roof is its potential to deliver energy savings. By reducing the absorption of solar heat through the roof, a cool roof lowers a facility’s cooling load and the energy required to power air conditioning.

Most people may not think of the roof as an energy-saving opportunity, but there has been an Energy Star rating for roof parts for over 10 years. The roof of your building and home provides an opportunity to lower your peak energy usage and to decrease your bills.

A thorough analysis of possible savings will take into account the amount of insulation in the facility and the price of energy in the area. In areas where there is less need for air conditioning and more demand for heating, the energy-saving benefits of a cool roof clearly are not as great. You definitely save more in a warmer climate not only because of weather, but also because buildings in the south and southwest tend to have less insulation.

How much savings can you expect a cool roof to deliver?
It depends on a lot of factors, including geography, materials and whether there are areas where heating and cooling are escaping from the building. But for example, in Phoenix, Arizona it can be 20% or even greater (RoofPal has data on this upon request).

In a hot climate, a cool roof probably saves 10 cents per square foot per year. In the northern part of the country, it is less (more like 3-5 cents per square foot). But still, there is a savings.

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