The Department of Energy has not been eager to switch its office lighting to irritating, energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. But as of this week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced, the department is at least getting around to installing energy-saving white roofs on its buildings:
As part of the Department's ongoing efforts to implement cool roofs on its facilities, Secretary Chu also announced that design will begin this summer on cool roof replacements at DOE Headquarters in Washington, DC. Cool roof projects are also underway at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls and Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Collectively, these projects will cover over 350,000 square feet and save thousands of dollars for taxpayers annually.
A study released this week by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concluded that using white roofs in major cities worldwide could offset 57 gigatons, or two years' worth, of carbon dioxide emissions.
And unlike with the compact fluorescent bulbs, unless you're in an airplane or on a high floor of a building, you don't have to see the roofs.