Secondary benefits of Cool Roofing
- Reduce carbon emissions by lowering the need for fossil-fuel generated electricity to run air conditioners. Reduce power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings. The President signed an Executive Order on October 5, 2009 that put in place an accounting system with the base year starting in 2010 to measure the carbon emissions that buildings give off. They have an active plan to manage, regulate and promote electronic stewardship over the carbon emissions in our country. They are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2020.
- Climate Change Mitigation: Cool roofs directly reduce green house gas emissions by conserving electricity for air conditioning therefore emitting less CO2 from power plants. Cool roofs also cool the world independently of avoided carbon emissions, simply by reflecting the sun’s energy as light back to the atmosphere, thereby mitigating global warming. A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found that world-wide reflective roofing will produce a global cooling effect equivalent to offsetting 24 gigatons of CO2 over the lifetime of the roofs. This equates to $600 billion in savings from CO2 emissions reduction.
- Urban Heat Island Mitigation: Cities can be 2° to 8°F warmer than surrounding areas due to dark materials, including roofs, which absorb the sun’s light energy as heat during the day and release it at night as heat.3 This phenomenon removes the opportunity for air to cool down at night and results in higher temperatures being maintained longer. By immediately reflecting solar radiation back into the atmosphere and remitting some portion of it as infrared light, cool roofs result in cooler air temperatures for the surrounding urban environment during hot summer months. Reduces Heat island effect (hot air that comes off roofs), lowers ambient air temperatures
- Reduce Smog: Lower ambient air temperatures and the subsequent improved air quality also result in a reduction in heat-related and smog-related health issues, including heat stroke and asthma.
- Peak Energy Savings and Grid Stability: Because cool roofs reduce air-conditioning use during the day’s hottest periods, the associated energy savings occur when the demand for electricity is at its peak. Therefore, use of cool roofs reduces the stress on the energy grid during hot summer months and helps avoid shortages that can cause blackouts or brownouts. In addition, for building owners that pay for their energy based on the time of use, they save energy when it is at its most expensive – and hence, save more money!
Secondary Energy Benefits: Cool roofs directly reduce the air conditioning use for buildings by reducing heat gain in the building below, but they also indirectly reduce air conditioning use in urban areas by helping lower ambient air temperatures. Therefore, with cooler daytime temperatures, buildings and vehicles use less air conditioning and save additional energy. In turn, this results in a reduction in the CO2 emissions from electricity generating power plants.