Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Cool Roofs: Saving Energy Starts at the Top

Cool roof Your roof absorbs a substantial amount of heat from the sun, reducing comfort on hot summer days and making your air-conditioning system work harder. Cool roofs are made with special materials that reflect sunlight and absorb less heat; lowering surface temperatures and keeping your home cooler. Not only will a cool roof make your home more comfortable, it will save you money by reducing the need for air conditioning. 

How Cool Roofs Work

Two characteristics of cool roofs—high solar reflectance and high thermal emittance—help to keep your home cooler in the summertime. Solar reflectance is a measure of a roofing material's ability to reflect sunlight and heat away, keeping the roof cooler. Thermal emittance describes how well a material releases absorbed heat. Together, these properties allow cool roofs to stay up to 60°F cooler than conventional roofs.

Types of Cool Roofs

You can make a new or existing roof cool by selecting the right material. A variety of cool roof products are available for different roofing systems, including the following:

  • Shingled roofs. Cool asphalt shingles use specially coated granules that provide improved solar reflectance. Cool shingles are coated in the factory; coating of existing shingles is not recommended.
  • Tile roofs. Tiles are made of slate, clay, or concrete and are glazed and coated to provide waterproofing and customized colors. Some types are naturally reflective enough to be considered cool, while surface treatments transform other varieties into cool materials.
  • Metal roofs. Unpainted metals are highly reflective, but have low emittance, so they are not considered cool. Painting a metal roof can increase reflectance and emittance. Also cool roof coatings can be applied, allowing the surface to achieve cool roof status. 

Although most homes have steep-sloped roofs, cool roof coatings can be applied to homes with low-sloped roofs (commonly used in commercial buildings). Cool roof coatings contain special pigments that reflect sunlight and protect the roof from ultra-violet (UV) light.  

Benefits and Costs

In addition to keeping your roof cooler, a cool roof can benefit your home and family in a number of ways: 

  • Lower energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning
  • Increased indoor comfort, especially in areas that are not air conditioned
  • Lower surface temperatures help extend roof life 

In addition to saving energy and making your home more comfortable, installing a cool roof can also benefit the environment and your community. Used in tandem with other buildings in your community, they can reduce surface air temperatures in the summertime, often called the urban heat island effect. Saving energy also helps reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

A cool roof does not necessarily cost more than a non-cool roof. In fact, there is often little or no cost premium for cool roofing materials compared to non-cool alternatives, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you are installing a new roof or replacing an older or damaged one, a cool roof is highly recommended, especially if you live in a warm climate. If your roof is in good condition, replacing it with a cool roof may not be economical.

The decision to install a cool roof depends on your local climate, the condition of your roof, and the availability of incentives. See the Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for information about available incentives in your area.

More From APCO

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn more

Download our new app

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Learn more Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com and the Appalachian Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.apco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com or the Appalachian Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to Appalachian Power’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to Appalachian Power (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for Appalachian Power);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


Appalachian Power takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from Appalachian Power may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

Appalachian Power reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to APCO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...