What is a Cool Roof?

What is a Cool Roof? Information on Title 24, Building Energy Efficiency Program, and incentive programs available in Los Angeles and Southern California areas.

What You Need to Know About Rebates and Building Code Requirements

What is a Cool Roof?

A cool roof is a roofing product that reflects sunlight and absorbs less heat than traditional roofs. Cool roofs lower roof temperatures on hot sunny days and therefore keep hoes cooler inside, saving energy by reducing the need for running air conditioning systems.

Although often light in color, cool roofs come in a wide variety of colors ranging from white to black and including blues, grays, greens, oranges, browns, and tans.

Cool roofs come in a wide variety of styles: shingle, shake, tile, membrane, and spray on roof-coatings.

“Coolness” Factors

The coolness of a roof is determined by several properties of roofing materials and their combined effects on temperature. The primary factor is the material’s ability to reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere (solar reflectance). A higher solar reflectance factor means the roof will stay cooler.

in addition to “solar reluctance” a secondary factor used is know as “thermal remittance,” which measures the material’s ability to release heat. The Solar Reflective Index (SRI) combines these two factors into a simple to use index value.

Building Code Requirements

Starting Oc. 1 2014*, the 2014 Los Angeles Green Building Code requires that roofing material used in residential building meet certain values for the “ages solar reluctance” and “thermal remittance,” or for “SIR”.

Min. 3-yr Aged Solar Reflectance Min. Thermal Emittance SRI
low-slove ≤ 2:12 0.63 0.75 75
Steep-slope > 2:12 0.20 0.75 16

Exceptions... Cool roof is NOT required for:

  • Roof repair; or
  • Roof replacement when the roof area being replaced is equal to or less than 50% of the total roof area; or
  • Where building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) areinstalled


“There are numerous incentives available to Californians that purchase qualifying cool roof products, ranging from financing to direct rebates. Some incentives are specific to utility service areas and others are statewide. See below for a summary of these cool roof incentives and how you can qualify.” More Information at CoolCalifornia.org

Rebate Levels

  • The base rebate for qualifying roofs is $0.20 per square foot
  • The enhanced rebate is $0.30 per square foot.

Roofing products must be tested and labelled by the Cool Roof Rating Council. A listing of related rpducts using the CRRC Rated Products Directory can be found at www.coolroofs.org/products/search.php

Qualifying Cool Roofs

To quality as a cool roof under the LADWP Consumer Rebate Program, the roofing material must:

  • Have CRRC 3-year SRI value ≥ 75 for low-slope (≤2:12) or ≥ 16 for steep-slobe (>2:12) roofs
  • For enchanced rebate, have CRRC 3-year SRI value ≥ 85 for low-slope (≤2:12) or ≥ 35 for steep-slobe (>2:12) roofs

How to Apply

LADWP advises customers to confirm rebate eligibility before making your purchase. Complete the Consumer Rebate Program application (available online at www.ladwp.com/rebatesandprograms) after purchasing and installing the product. All applications must be postmarked within 12 months of the purchase date. For your convenience, you may submit your application online or by mail.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. LADWP reserves the right o inspect and verify the installation of your products prior to releasing your rebate check. Rebates will be processed withing six months of application submittal.


Please include the following documentation with your application:

  • Original Proof of Purchase or Original Home Improvement Contract Invoice (with manufacturer, product make and model number)
  • A copy of your LADWP bill (Page 1)
  • A copy of the roofing permit

For More Information about the 2014 Green Building Requirements:

Visit: www.ladbs.org or Call: LADS at 3-1-1

Please Note: Funding is limited and rebates are not guaranteed. This program shall at all times be subject to change or termination without notice.

*Effective Jan 1, 2015 if replacing an existing roof with asphalt roof shingles or asphalt composition roll roofing.

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