October 23, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cass Jacoby. 

Experts from the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) walk us through what the changes to how we rate energy-efficient roofing materials means and effective alternatives now that the program is ending. 

In a new Roofing Road Trips Episode, Heidi J. Ellsworth pays a visit to Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) Deputy Director Sarah Schneider and Project Manager Audrey McGarrell. The three discuss the end of the ENERGY STAR certification program and make sense of how this change will affect roofing professionals moving forward.  

The ENERGY STAR program was a voluntary certification program that was co-created and implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The focus of the certification program was to help consumers understand what would be considered a “cool roof or an energy-efficient roof.”  

Now, after 20 years of running the ENERGY STAR roofing program the EPA decided it was time to sunset the program. “They had a few reasons for why they felt it was time to end this program. On the commercial side of things, they found that several building codes, the requirements for cool roofs actually exceeded what ENERGY STAR was requiring,” explains Sarah. “On the residential side was a bit different…. the EPA deemed that cool roofs were not appropriate in certain climates in terms of garnering energy savings. But more importantly, in they learned that the ENERGY STAR label for residential roofing products wasn’t informative enough to consumers who were really trying to find cost effective roofing materials.” 

The ENERGY STAR label has met its goals and the end of its useful life, however, that doesn’t mean that the incentives and certifications that were based on including ENERGY STAR’s certified roofing materials have ended. This sunset means that manufacturers are not allowed to market their roofing materials as ENERGY STAR-certified anymore. But more importantly ENERGY STAR’s not maintaining a qualified products list of certified roofing materials, so now qualifying for a financial incentive like a rebate for an ENERGY STAR certified roofing product has gotten much trickier.  

Luckily, the Cool Roof Rating Council exists as a publicly available database for the Radiative Properties of Roofing materials. Audrey says that a lot of the test methods were used by the ENERGY STAR program are required or utilized test methods that were developed by the CRRC, so in terms of the data that you’re looking at, it’s very, very similar and equally credible. 

 “The most important resource that we are providing to contractors, to homeowners, to policymakers is our free online rated roof products directory,” says Audrey. “Our program is referenced in various building codes, programs and standards. People can look at the data to comply with voluntary building programs such as the LEAD program, the Green Globes program. And part of what makes our database a reliable source for people to obtain this data is that our rating program is operated in accordance with strict requirements that were developed by a diverse set of industry stakeholders and subject matter experts.” 

Listen to the podcast to learn more about the effects of the Energy Star program ending and to learn more about how to use the Cool Roof Rating Council as an alternative metric for energy efficiency. 

Learn more about the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directory or visit coolroofs.org.

About Cass  

Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.

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