Rachel Reiss Buckley is a senior research associate with E Source, an energy information service provider. This article was adapted from a technical brief prepared by E Source for the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. For more information, visit www.energy.ca.gov/pier. To view technical briefs from the PIER Program on other topics, visit www.esource.com.
Cool roofs cut cooling loads by up to 20 percent through the use of reflective materials that limit solar heat gain. A conventional cool roof features light-colored surfaces - shades that commercial facilities with flat or low-sloped roofs find acceptable. However, homeowners typically prefer the aesthetics of darker colors for their steep-sloped roofs.