MRA Update: Energy efficiency key to success of metal

More and more, homeowners are seeking out energy-saving building materials for their renovations and new homes. They are searching for products that secure and improve structures as well as provide long-term solutions to the increasing cost of energy bills. Consumers also have become more interested in promoting environmental and economic sustainability in the greater community.
Among the array of possible energy-efficient building materials, cool metal roofing provides a number of long-term benefits to the consumer. Residential metal roofing offers a solid, attractive roofing solution available in multiple colors, textures, and profiles for both steep-slope and low-slope applications.
As reported by the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, installation of reflective metal roofing can save a homeowner up to 40 percent in summer cooling costs. Additionally, highly emissive metal roofs can reduce urban air temperatures by as much as 12 degrees. Combined, these benefits mean lower energy bills, less dependence on energy resources, and less general air pollution.
The secret to residential metal roofing’s energy savings is the variety of options in finishes now available. A basic, unpainted metal roof will reflect much of the solar radiation that is usually absorbed in the attic and home with an asphalt roof. However, for homes in warmer climates, pre-painted or granular coated metal roofing systems not only reflect solar energy but also cool the home by re-emitting most of what solar radiation is absorbed. Where annual cooling loads dominate, a highly reflective and highly emissive painted or granular-coated metal roof is optimal for reducing energy consumption and can actually re-emit up to 90 percent of absorbed solar radiation.
The federal government recently endorsed the energy saving benefits of residential metal roofing systems in the Congress Energy Policy Act of 2005. From January 1, 2006, through December 21, 2007, the Act will issue tax credits to homeowners who install qualified energy-efficient improvements to their home.
In the case of roofing, the policy defines an energy-efficient improvement as a metal roof with appropriate pigmented coatings that meet the Energy Star program requirements. An Energy Star labeled metal roofing system has at least 65 percent reflectance for low-slope and 25 percent solar reflectance for steep-slope roofing. These qualified products save money and energy by reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to keep a building comfortable. Energy Star qualified products should reduce costs by at least 30 percent.
MRA member Englert, Inc., changed over its entire metal roofing line to Energy Star compliant products. “Homeowners recognize the importance of the Energy Star program and are pleased to know that they’re helping the environment when they choose a qualified metal roof product,” says Kevin Corcoran, vice president, Englert.  
The government-funded Tax Incentive Assistance Project (TIAP) has posted the complete list of eligible measures for this tax credit that include “pigmented metal roofs” on its website,
Another exciting incentive for homeowners to consider is many homeowners’ insurance agencies, including State Farm Insurance, allow discounts for home-owners with specific weather-resistant metal roofing products. In some areas in the United States, discounts of up to 30 percent are being offered.
And finally, in addition to energy savings, most metal roofing systems, including the popular standing seam style, are composed of recycled material and can be installed directly onto an existing asphalt roof. This reduces landfill waste, providing a quick and easy installation, as well as decades of environmentally sound, maintenance-free strength and beauty.

The MRA is a not-for-profit coalition of metal roofing manufacturers, paint companies, coil coaters, associations, and contractors formed to introduce and educate homeowners to the many valuable benefits of metal roofing.  If you’re interested in joining the MRA, please visit

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