Bill Clinton and Reflective Roof Coatings
I have previously noted the simple and cost effective practice of covering dark roofs with reflective roof coatings (here and here). Now Bill Clinton is touting the benefits of putting people to work reducing cooling costs with this simple method:
What's the single best idea to jumpstart job creation?
Look at the tar roofs covering millions of American buildings. They absorb huge amounts of heat when it's hot. And they require more air conditioning to cool the rooms. Mayor Bloomberg started a program to hire and train young people to paint New York's roofs white. A big percentage of the kids have been able to parlay this simple work into higher-skilled training programs or energy-related retrofit jobs. (And, believe it or not, painting the roof white can lower the electricity use by 20 percent on a hot day!)
Every black roof in New York should be white; every roof in Chicago should be white; every roof in Little Rock should be white. Every flat tar-surface roof anywhere! In most of these places you could recover the cost of the paint and the labor in a week. It's the quickest, cheapest thing you can do. In the current environment it's been difficult for the mayors to get what is otherwise a piddling amount of money to do it everywhere. Yet lowering the utility bill in every apartment house 10 to 20 percent frees cash that can be spent to increase economic growth.This simple technique acts locally by reducing cooling costs, and globally by reflecting sunlight back into space. We don't need to rely on guesswork to measure the benefits; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has already crunched the numbers.