A national study conducted in Mexico has found that switching to cool roofs could help commercial and residential buildings realize typical energy savings of around 7% and 18%, respectively. The study was conducted as part of a comprehensive “Cool Roofs Action Plan” developed through support from the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) and adopted by Mexico’s National Commission on Energy Efficiency (CONUEE) in 2012.
Seven major cities covering each of Mexico’s 6 climate zones were included in the study, with each demonstrating significant potential for cool roofs to save energy, the associated energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. The study estimated that cool roofs deployed in Mexico City, Mérida, and Monterey alone could save over 3,000 gigawatt-hours of energy per year, with carbon pollution savings equivalent to taking 480,000 cars off the road. Importantly, the study also found that the cool roof investment paid for itself in 3 years or less.
“The findings of the impact study will help raise awareness of the potential for cool roofs and surfaces in Mexico and drive market growth and supportive policies,” said study author Dr. Gabriela Alvarez Garcia of the National Center for Research Technology Development. “It is clear that cool roofs can make Mexico’s homes, shops, and offices more comfortable and energy efficient.”
The study results are also contributing to the Action Plan’s long-term goal of incorporating cool surface standards in Mexican building codes. CONUEE and a local working group of industry and technical experts convened by the Paint and Coating Manufacturers Association recently unveiled a public draft of a voluntary industry standard for cool roof performance and testing. The standard, developed in collaboration with a broad set of industry and technical stakeholders, defines testing and rating procedures that are very similar to the process used in the United States and sets the level of reflectivity and thermal emittance required to allow a product to be called “cool.”
“Having a voluntary industry standard for cool roofs is a key first step towards incorporating cool roofs into national building codes. It is important that cool surface manufacturers and consumers share a clear understanding of what qualifies as a cool surface product,” said Mr. Odón de Buen, Director General of CONUEE.
The draft voluntary standard provides the technical underpinnings to create a transparent, high-performance market in Mexico. The impact study shows the value of cool roofs and provides the type of geographically relevant data needed to evaluate the scale of the opportunity, enabling better decision making by policy makers, building owners, and the construction community.
The Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial working to realize energy savings in buildings and industry. www.cleanenergyministerial.org/GSEP
The Clean Energy Ministerial is a high-level global forum to share best practices and promote policies and programs that encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy.www.cleanenergyministerial.org
Media Contact: Clean Energy Ministerial Secretariat, Clean Energy Ministerial Secretariat, +1 202-586-4131,[email protected]
Photo: Clean Energy Ministerial Secretariat