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U of C experts dispute claim that light-coloured roofs save energy - Metro US

U of C experts dispute claim that light-coloured roofs save energy

Lighter coloured roofing has been rumoured to save money on energy and slow global warming.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu suggests people will save energy and money on air conditioning by deflecting the suns rays. Chu also suggests pale surfaces could slow global warming by reflecting heat back into space — but some have their doubts.

“(White roofs) are not that useful for climate change,” said David Keith, an engineering professor at the University of Calgary. “This is because there simply aren’t enough roofs in the world.”

Tang Lee, an environmental design professor at the U of C, says that idea will only save energy costs for those who live in hotter countries. “It doesn’t make sense for Canadians,” said Lee.

“Canadian houses are very well-insulated, while American houses are not. Because we do have such good insulation, it doesn’t matter what colour cladding we have on the exterior because it’s not going to make a big difference.”

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