Posted by: John Savageau in white rooftops on
Feb 2, 2010
Energy Secretary Steven Chu has evangelized the simplicity of painting rooftops white to save energy. We believe a simple thing like painting a rooftop with solar reflective materials can reduce carbon dioxide production on a scale of billions of tons.
Think Green Hawaii, a local website highlighting local green initiatives notes that even tourists are starting to look for environmentally friendly hotels for their vacations, using examples such as the Hyatt Regency Waikiki which has implemented energy-efficient LED lights in public areas to reduce the use of energy.
Other local initiatives, such as the mbbEMS (Energy Management System) uses wireless communications connecting things such as lanai (balcony) doors to air conditioning units, shutting down the fans when doors are opened, and sensors to determine if guests are actually in their room (Hmmm...., that might not be so "cool'), shutting off lights and closing drapes to reduce the cooling load within a hotel. Great ideas.
"By painting your rooftop white, you can save anywhere from 5, to 15, to 20% on your air conditioning bill" said Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (21 July 2009). In a rare moment without a snappy comment, Jon Stewart encouraged Steven Chu to continue. "If we start the transition to white rooftops and white pavement, (we could make) a profound effect on the climate."
The concept is pretty simple. If we spend less on energy, the requirement to produce energy is reduced, and we create less carbon dioxide.
In addition, Chu mentioned that if we painted the rooftops of our houses and buildings white, and the roadways to white or a lighter color, it would have the (one time) effect of taking 1 billion automobiles off the road for 11 years (from a study by Art Rosenfeld, California Energy Commission).