Zapped by High Energy Bills? Savings of up to 50 Percent Start at the Top with “Cool Roofs”
02/24/2006, PHILADELPHIA – Most of the homes in Philadelphia have roofs coated with hot tar or black rolled asphalt. Sturdy material but it does nothing to cool down temperatures during a summer heatwave.
“Cool Roof” technology, in contrast, coats the roof surface with a reflective material that can lower the temperature of a building’s roof by up to 100 degrees. This produces lower interior temperatures and reduces cooling costs by up to 50 percent.
Not only does the technology reduce energy costs, it also benefits the environment. Reduced energy demand means less burning of fossil fuels. That’s a good thing because fossil fuels create the air pollution associated with smog, acid rain, and global climate change. By reducing the amount of energy needed to cool buildings, Cool Roofs help reduce these air pollutants.
On Feb. 24 EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh saluted retailer, Target, for its use of the Cool Roof technology on most of the chain’s 1,397 stores in 47 states, including 20 in the Delaware Valley.
“Target is to be commended for its environmental leadership,” said Donald S. Welsh at Target’s new Bridesburg store. “Homeowners and businesses are starting to realize that there are economic benefits to protecting the environment.”
Welsh added that there are health benefits, as well. “For the elderly and others who cannot afford air conditioning, the Cool Roof technology reduces the temperatures inside, which will help lower the number of people who suffer from heat stroke each year.”
Target has a long history of energy conservation. In addition to using Cool Roof technology, Target also uses high-efficiency heating and cooling systems in all its stores, uses low water flow plumbing fixtures, uses redesigned light fixtures that use three fluorescent light tubes instead of the standard four, regularly recycles everything from cardboard to shopping carts. The company is continually investigating other alternative energy options and tries new methods out at selected sites around the country.
Cool Roof coatings are white liquids – the consistency of thick paint – applied over an existing roof structure. They can be applied over a traditional roof to achieve energy savings, an extended life span, and protection from weathering and ultraviolet radiation. The new surface can last 10 to 20 years, depending on coating quality and the thickness applied. Home and building owenrs should ensure that the underlying roofing is sound before a coating is applied because the coating is not intended to plug leaks or otherwise improve the structure of a roof.
For more information about Cool Roofs, go to www.epa.gov/heatisland/strategies/coolroofs.html
- Contact Information
- Donna Heron
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Contact via E-mail
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