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Cool Roof Saves Energy Costs at No Incremental Cost

The cleanest source of energy is the energy you don’t use. Government office building at DOE replaces roof with a cool roof at no additional incremental cost ... and saves money.

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Energy Department Completes Cool Roof Installation on D.C. Headquarters Building to Save Money by Saving Energy

In 2010, the US Department of Energy completed a new cool roof installation on the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Headquarters West Building.

There was no incremental cost to adding the cool roof as part of the roof replacement project and it will save taxpayers $2,000 every year in building energy costs.

Cool roofs use lighter-colored roofing surfaces or special coatings to reflect more of the sun's heat, helping improve building efficiency, reduce cooling costs, and offset carbon emissions.

The cool roof and increased insulation at the facility were installed as part of the federal government's commitment to lead by example in increasing energy efficiency, reducing carbon pollution and demonstrating the benefits of clean energy technologies.

A cooler roof means lower energy bills –up to 10-15% lower – when it’s warm out because your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Saving energy means lower greenhouse gas emissions because we don’t need to burn as much fossil fuel. And less heat absorbed by building rooftops means cooler communities in the summer.

Check out Google Earth – the ‘view from above’ of your favorite American city. And look at the roofs of the office buildings, warehouses, shopping centers, and even the homes. Most of them are probably pretty dark in color – and this means they heat up a lot when the weather is warm – up to 50 degrees hotter than light roofs. All of those dark roofs mean that as a nation we’re using a lot more air conditioning than we need to.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimate that if just over three quarters of our nation’s commercial buildings were retrofitted with cool roofs, the U.S. would save enough energy on air-conditioning to reduce CO2 emissions by about 6 million metric tons each year. That’s like taking more than a million cars off the road.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| energy efficiency | cool roof | energy savings |

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