For immediate release: April 17, 2001
Media Contact: Percy Della (916) 654-4989

State Gives Incentives to Businesses
Switching to Cool Roofs

Sacramento -- Wanted: California businesses with flat roofs that need to be replaced or resurfaced and whose owners would choose cool roof materials over dark to save 20 to 40 percent in air conditioning costs.

The California Energy Commission's Cool Savings Plan will provide incentives averaging 10 cents per square foot of qualifying roofs. Further information, frequently-asked-questions and links about cool roofs can be obtained at:

"While cool roofs (of white colored materials) do not generally cost any more than dark roofs, they have been shown to lower cooling costs by 20-40 percent," said Energy Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld. "This simple change will eventually save California thousands of megawatts of peak power."

The surface of a dark roof can reach temperatures of 150-170 degrees F during a hot summer day. A cool roof can lower the temperature by 50-60 degrees F, thus reducing the conduction of heat into the building and the air conditioning needed to remove that heat.

Because temperature extremes can contribute to the degradation of the roofing materials, cool roofs can lower roof repair and maintenance costs as well, helping to prevent expensive "tear-offs" and the disposal of tons of old roofing materials in our landfills. Cool roofs also help reduce the temperature of urban areas, lowering what is referred to as "Urban Heat Island" effect, helping to reduce air pollution and the corresponding health impacts.

The switch from dark to cool roofing seeks to save 120 megawatts of electricity in the summer. A megawatt powers 1,000 homes. The idea is to reduce air conditioning load on the electrical grid to prevent energy shortages during the peak summer hours of 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The $40 million Cool Savings Plan is part of the Energy Commission's objective of shaving off a total of 582 megawatts of peak demand through conservation measures by summer's end. The Plan is funded by SB 5x, the landmark energy efficiency and demand reduction bill signed by Governor Davis recently, and AB 970, the peak reduction legislation signed by the Governor October of last year.

Qualified business customers and roofers may contact the Cool Savings Plan's four regional coordinators. They are the:

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the city of Los Angeles, contact Wei Li at (213) 367-4988 or;

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), its service territory, contact Misha Sarkovich at (916) 732-6484 or;

Sacramento Tree Foundation, Bay Area and the Central Valley south to (and including) Ventura, Kern and Inyo Counties, except communities served by SMUD, contact Lisa Gartland at (510) 595-7674 or; and

San Diego Regional Energy Office, San Diego County north (and including) Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, except the city of Los Angeles, contact Frank White at (619) 857-5022 or

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