More residents and business owners are beginning to choose “cool roofs” when it comes to installing their next roof. A cool roof is made of highly reflective materials, these materials are known to reflect solar heat away from a building and can reduce cooling costs in buildings anywhere from ten to thirty percent. The buildings themselves become more energy efficient while at the the same time, reducing the Urban Heat Island effect, where urban areas have a much higher radiant temperature than surrounding rural or suburban areas.

What is the Cool Roofs Bill?

Cool roofs used to be outside of most homeowner’s budgets and the customization choices were very limited, most choices were only available in white. With the advent of new technology cool roofs are now much more widely available and customizable, and one US Senator thinks they should be the go-to in new roofing materials.

On Thursday, June 5, Senator Ben Cardin (D) of Maryland introduced “The Energy Efficient Cool Roofs Act” to Congress. The bill is aimed to create jobs and increase energy efficiency in buildings with older materials. The bill would lower the depreciation period in commercial roofs from its current 39 years to 20 years. The average lifespan on most commercial roofs is 17 years. The new roofs would be constructed with energy-efficient reflective materials.

As a result of this long depreciation period many commercial building owners try to cut corners with patchwork and repairs instead of replacing the roof in itself.

“We don’t need to choose between good jobs and helping the environment, we can do both with the same policy,” said Sen. Cardin in a press release.

The bill has already garnered bipartisan support in both the House and Senate with Representative Tom Reed (R) of New York stating, “This is a jobs bill that has the added benefit of saving millions in energy cost with energy-efficient roofing systems.”

The bill is being co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R) of Idaho and Dean Heller (R) of Nevada.

The bill is estimated to create 40,000 new jobs, create $1 billion of revenue in the construction industry and reduce carbon emission by up to 800 tons.

The “Cool Roofs” Act has already received support from The National Roofing Contractors Association¬†and several other contracting and environmental organizations.