John Henson on his white roof in Bloomingdale.
John Henson on his white roof in Bloomingdale.

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Nothing like a passing, relatively forgettable story to rile up some unknown group.

In late May, I blogged about a speech by energy secretary Steven Chu, advocating that people paint their roofs white to lower their cooling costs. Then, I followed up with a brief article about a local Bloomingdale man that had done just that.

Today—-some two and a half months later—-the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) has decided to pipe up on this issue:

Energy Efficiency proponents and regulators need to discard the outdated idea that white is the only color for a “cool” roof, and recognize that many of the newer high-reflectivity aluminum and colored roof coatings can perform just as well or better than white, says the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA).

White roofs were in the headlines recently, when Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested painting the roofs of all buildings white to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save energy used for cooling. Chu’s statements were criticized in many camps for ignoring energy and other offsetting factors and costs in non-temperate climes…

“The benefits of reflective roof coatings are very real, but there needs to be a reasoned approach and an understanding that there are many coating types available to meet the nation’s various building energy and sustainability objectives,” said James Baker, RCMA’s director of industry affairs. “We’re urging regulators and green building advocates to be cautious and not increase reflectivity requirements faster than the technology will allow,” he added.