All About Energy Efficiency and Roofing Materials

energy efficiency

Are you wondering about the energy efficiency of roofing? The benefits of energy-efficient roofing materials include lowering your energy bills, qualifying you for tax deductions, and reducing your carbon footprint.

An energy-efficient roof includes both exterior and interior components. These include insulation and ventilation. Energy-efficient roofing is any roofing system that reduces the energy consumption of the structure beneath it. Continue reading to learn more.

Materials for Energy-Efficient Roofing

Your roofing material plays an important role in your energy efficiency. The direct sunlight hits your roof, which is why buildings heat up during the day and cool down at night.

Using reflective roofing materials limits the increase of internal building temperatures. The air conditioner will have to work less hard if the building is more comfortable. In the long run, this will result in lower energy bills.

The industry uses the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) to calculate energy efficiency. This is a number between 0 and 100 that combines both the reflective and emissive properties of a material. The higher the SRI, the better the cooling performance.

What SRI number is considered energy-efficient?

Roof slope plays an important role in determining whether or not a roofing material is energy efficient.

Energy Star, for instance, requires steep-slope roofing materials to have 25 SRI initially and 15 SRI three years after installation to qualify for certification. On the other hand, LEED only offers credits for materials with an SRI of at least 39 at installation and an SRI of at least 32 after three years.

Do you want to know the SRI of a specific type of roofing material? Thousands of roofing products are listed in a directory maintained by the Cool Roof Rating Council.

7 Energy-Efficient Roofing Options


Even without touching the roof, you can reduce your energy costs by up to 10 percent. Here’s how. It’s as easy as insulation! Insulation can actually improve the energy efficiency of your building in several different ways. For example, it prevents cold air from seeping into your attic from the roof deck. Insulation also helps to keep expensive air from escaping your house. The result is that your HVAC system will not have to work as hard to keep your house comfortable. Insulating your roof and attic will save you a lot of money compared to replacing your roof.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles can get incredible SRI ratings and meet energy efficiency standards when infused with reflective granules. Shingles for cool roofs cost around $3.50 to $6.00 per square foot. As a result, they are usually the most affordable energy-efficient roofing material. Most shingles, however, do not have these coated granules. Search for products that include them when shopping for your new roof.

Tile Roofing

The nature of its installation makes tile roofs conducive to energy efficiency. When roofing tiles overlap with each other, channels form above the roof deck that allows air to circulate. These air channels serve as a means for hot air to circulate out before entering the building, as well as an additional layer of insulation. The primary materials used to make roofing tiles – concrete and clay – have high thermal emittance values, which results in impressive SRI values.

Tiles, however, may not be for everyone. Their cost per square foot is around $10, which is more than twice as much as the cheapest asphalt roofing products. For many homeowners, however, the aesthetics and energy efficiency of tile roofs are more important than the price.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing comes in many different shapes, types, and colors to suit both residential and commercial buildings, but all of them are energy efficient. It is even possible to save up to 25% on energy costs by using lighter colors and vents when installing metal roofing. Due in part to the industry’s commitment to recycling, we consider metal one of the most sustainable roofing materials. In fact, many manufacturers include recycled material in the manufacture of metal roofing materials.

A metal roof is, of course, more expensive than an asphalt roof. Metal roofs typically cost between $11 and $12 per square foot. Nevertheless, metal roofs have a long life span, 80 years in best cases. The combination of this and the energy efficiency of a metal roof will guarantee you a quick return on investment.

Solar Tile Roofing

One of the best roofs is one that generates energy itself instead of just lowering energy costs. Using photovoltaic cells, solar tiles produce electricity in the same way as traditional solar panels. It has an elegant profile, just as traditional tile and shingle roofs do. 

There is a cost associated with solar tiles. Tesla, the most popular solar tile provider, charges between $14 and $20 per square foot of solar tiles. Solar tiles, however, will pay for themselves within a decade, thanks to energy savings and tax incentives.

Green Roofing

Green roofing is perhaps the most sustainable roofing material. A green roof is essentially just soil and vegetation on top of a flat roof. Humans have used it for roofing for thousands of years. Green roofs, however, dominate today’s sustainable urban development because of their effectiveness in combating the urban heat island effect, which is the reason cities are hotter than outlying areas.

Green roofs are energy efficient because they absorb solar radiation and provide insulation. These properties keep buildings cooler. Green roofs can reduce the demand for air conditioning by over 75 percent. A green roof is not just a great way to save money; it offers a long list of other benefits, including longer roof lifespans, improved stormwater retention, and offering a beautiful aesthetic.

The cost of a green roof ranges from $10 to $20 per square foot. Green roof systems may require frequent maintenance, which may make them more expensive in the long run.

Cool Roof Coatings

Cool roof coatings can save you the expense and hassle of roof replacement in tropical climates. In addition, they can decrease your cooling costs by 30 percent. Using white reflective coatings maximizes the reflectivity and heat emitted by the roof. When it comes to sloped roofs, the bright white color reduces curb appeal. Therefore, cool roof coatings are more suitable for low-sloped roofs.

Final Words

Now that you know the most energy-efficient roofing materials, it’s time to contact us so we can get you started. Call us at (636) 699-0449.