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Reflective Roof Technologies Benefit Environment, Saves Energy and Dollars

Release Date: 02/07/2006
Contact Information: Mike Frankel 215-814-2665

PHILADELPHIA - - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with PECO, An Exelon Company, and the Energy Coordinating Agency to co-sponsor a workshop,
Cool Roofs 2006: Approaches for Energy Conservation and Financial Savings.

Cool Roofs are reflective roof coatings that can lower the surface temperature of a building’s roof by up to 100 degrees, thereby lowering interior temperatures and reducing cooling costs by up to 50 percent.

Attendees will look at cool roof technologies as one approach to minimize the effects of an urban heat island. The workshop was held at PECO headquarters in center city Philadelphia.

“At EPA, we continue to look for ways to partner with businesses and industry leaders to improve the nation’s indoor and outdoor environments,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “Our recent addition of an Urban Heat Island Initiative builds on the success we’ve had with other pollution prevention programs.”

Reflective roof products can help reduce the “heat island effect,” a phenomenon in which cities can be two to eight degrees warmer than surrounding areas due to buildings and paving absorbing heat from the sun and releasing the heat at night. The release of heat causes air temperatures to remain high. The elevated temperatures cause an increased demand for air conditioning in homes, buildings and vehicles resulting in increased levels of smog, increased energy usage and costs.

EPA estimates that the nation spends $40 billion annually to air condition homes and buildings. That amount represents one-sixth of all the electricity produced annually.

Included among the local companies already using cool roofs are Target, Kohl’s, the K-Mart distribution center and Wal-Mart, which is testing cool roof technologies at one area store. Other companies attending and considering cool roof technologies are Wawa, Bank of America, Marshall’s and Dow Chemical.

To learn more about EPA’s Urban Heat Island Initiative and the Cool Roof approach visit