Energy Star Roofing: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Energy Star is a label given to material that has qualified for an Energy Star rating. In roofing, this rating is given to products that save a measurable amount of energy, which in turn saves consumers money on their energy bills. This is important to both consumers and businesses because the more energy efficient we make our homes and businesses, the less money we have to spend on heating and cooling (did you know that Americans spend about $40 billion annually to air condition buildings – one-sixth of all electricity generated in this country source – http://www.energystar.gov/products/certified-products/detail/roof-products) Plus, if we use Energy Star products in conjunction with other Energy Star improvements such as windows, insulation and HVAC equipment, we could make huge strides in reducing our overall energy needs.
How to qualify for Energy Star Rating
In order to qualify for an Energy Star rating, building materials have to pass certain specifications set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The specifications are based on the following set of key guiding principles (per www.energystar.gov/products/how-product-earns-energy-star-label) :
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
Solar reflectiveness affects energy
Solar reflectance is the most important characteristic for roofing materials when it comes to measuring energy savings during warmer months (source: www.epa.gov/heatisland/mitigation/coolroofs.htm ). The more reflective the roofing materials, the more light and heat are redirected, and this redirection lowers the roof temperature. For the individual building owner, an Energy Star roof could reduce the cooling demand by 10-15 percent (https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roof_prods.pr_roof_faqs).