FAQs about what is a Cool Roof

What is a cool roof?

Cool roofs are a highly reflective and emissive material that stays 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the summer sun, thereby reducing energy costs, improving occupant comfort, cutting maintenance costs, increasing the life cycle of the roof, and contributing to the reduction of urban heat islands and associated smog.

What kind of roofing products are available for residential applications?

Products for low-slope roofs found on a single family residence, are available in clay, or concrete tiles. These products remain cooler by using a special pigment that reflect the sun’s infrared heat. Inexpensive shingles or coated metal roofing products are not yet available in “cool” versions.

How cool is a cool roof?

During the summer, a typical dark roof is 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit at peak, while cool roofs peak at 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are cool roofs required in California’s residential energy efficiency code?

No, they are not required, but there are energy credits. Please consult the building code for rules.

When did the Cool Roof Rating Council become the supervisory entity for cool roofs in California?

The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) became the supervisory entity responsible for administering California’s certification program for roofing products beginning January 1, 2003. At this time, every roofing product that is installed to comply with Title 24 will need to carry a packaging label that lists the product’s reflectance and emittance as tested in accordance with ASTM standards.

For more information, see “Section 10-113 – Certification and Labeling of Roofing Product Reflectance and Emittance” of the Building Energy Standards. Until this time, all products must be ENERGY STAR® qualified. For a list of qualified products, visit Cool Roof Rating Council.

Source: California Energy Commission

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