White Roofs can Save $735 Million Per Year
Energy Secretary mandates Energy Department to Install White Roofs
U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu, is urging Americans to help cool the planet and add money to their pockets by painting their roofs white, a color that reflects the highest amount of sunlight. In addition, he's mandating all Energy Department offices to install white roofs and urging other federal agencies to follow suit.
“When you’re thinking of putting on a new roof, make it [a] white [roof],” Secretary Chu told Jon Stewart’s of the “Daily Show” in 2009. “It costs no more to make it white than to make it black.”
“Cool [white] roofs are one of the quickest and lowest-cost ways we can reduce our global carbon emissions and begin the hard work of slowing climate change,” he said in a statement.
White roofs can also put money back in your pockets. A 2009 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group found that if 80 percent of air-conditioned buildings in the United States were retrofitted with white roofs, the U.S. would save $735 million a year in reduced energy costs and would reduce emissions equivalent to that of 1.2 million cars.
Another Berkeley Lab study published this year found that increasing the reflectivity of urban roofs in areas with a population of over one million would reduce the yearly island heating effect in an amount equivalent to the carbon emissions of 300 million cars.