How Energy Efficient Roofing Can Save You Money

green roof, a type of energy-efficient roofing


It is no secret that traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles hold the roofing industry together. An estimate of over 75% of roofs in the US use dark asphalt shingles, but this is changing. As the lifespan of homeowners' asphalt shingle roofs ends, and they begin to see the long-term benefits of energy-efficient roofing, the appeal of sustainable roofs increases. 

What Is Energy-Efficient Roofing?

Sustainable or energy-efficient roofing (sometimes called eco roofing) is any roofing material produced without using up or damaging its original resource. Typically this means roofing materials that are recycled or taken from sustainably-managed sources. The production of sustainable roofing is usually carbon-neutral as well.

In addition, sustainable roofing is often highly reflective and cooling, helping decrease temperatures in the home and reducing energy usage. Some energy-efficient roofs, like green roofs, actually help decrease CO2 levels in the atmosphere via the photosynthesis of plants. Above all, sustainable roofing materials are typically longer-lasting and can be recycled easily, helping to keep roofing materials out of landfills.

Qualities of energy-efficient roofing: 

  1. Sustainably sourced or recycled 

  2. Decreases home temperatures (and energy bill costs) 

  3. Easily recycled

  4. Long-lasting

What Are the Benefits of Energy-Efficient Roofing?

For roofers, there are many benefits of sustainable roofing:

  1. Offering eco-friendly roofing options allows you to differentiate your business from the thousands of other roofing businesses out there.

  2. There is a growing demand for sustainable roofing as individuals become more eco-conscious. These individuals tend to be willing to spend a little more money to be eco-friendly.

  3. The longer lifespan of sustainable roofs means fewer repairs and maintenance, which means satisfied customers and stellar reviews.

  4. Some sustainable roofing types (like metal roofs) are quicker to install than traditional styles and can save time.

For homeowners, the benefits of energy-efficient roofing are mostly monetary:

  1. Energy-efficient roofs help keep energy bills much lower and can offset HVAC use, leading to a longer HVAC lifespan.

  2. The long lifespan of eco-friendly roofing means fewer repairs over time and fewer replacements needed, which saves thousands over the years.

  3. Having an energy-efficient roof can significantly increase property values.

What Types of Energy-Efficient Roofing Are There?

There are many different types of energy-efficient roofing on the market. Examples are green roofs, solar panel or solar shingle roofs, cool roofs, metal roofs, composite tile roofs, rubber shingle roofs, and more. The endless eco-friendly roofing options allow homeowners to choose a roof that satisfies their sustainability goals and aesthetic needs. 

What Are the Features of Each Sustainable Roofing Type?

Each kind of sustainable roof has specific features, pros, and cons.

cool roofs in melbourne australia

1. Cool roofs: 

Cool roofs improve energy efficiency by reflecting a greater amount of sunlight than traditional roofs. Cool roofs are “installed’ via a light-colored coating over original roofing materials, or by the installation of light-colored shingles. By reducing the roof’s surface temperature, cool roofs minimize the heat transfer into the building. They contribute to energy savings and alleviate the strain on HVAC systems, thus reducing energy bills. Explore the benefits of cool roofs for a sustainable and comfortable home.


Longer lifespan of 15-30 years vs. 10 years for conventional roofs

Minimizes heat build-up in cities 

Diminish surface temperatures by up to 50 degrees 

Reduces energy demand 

Extends roof life by decreasing heat-related damage 


Can be susceptible to mold in high humidity environments

Can increase the need for heating during cold months 

High initial installation costs 

Not suited for cooler climates 

green roof in urban area

2. Green roofs

Green roofs are rooftops that are covered with various forms of vegetation such as bushes, grass, trees, and other greenery. They typically are made of several layers, including a waterproofing layer, a drainage layer, and a vegetation layer, amongst others. Despite high installation and maintenance costs, they are considered great investments as they are one of the most efficient energy-saving roofs. Green roofs provide many benefits to a building, including boosting property value, lowering roof temperatures by 30-40%, cutting heat transfer by 72%, and reducing the flow of stormwater by up to 65%. These are just a few of the benefits of green roofs.


Can double or triple the lifespan of a rooftop, up to 40 years

Increases biodiversity by attracting wildlife

Aesthetics increases property value 

Reduces roof surface temperatures by 30-40% 

Reduce noise pollution by 30%

Keeps out heat during cold months and holds onto heat during cooler months

Can reduce city-wide temperatures by 5 degrees

Reduce stormwater runoff by 65%


Very high initial installation cost

Needs maintenance often, typically twice a year

Causes a significant increase in weight load on a roof 

solar panels on rooftop

3. Solar panels or solar roofs

Solar power roofs can be installed in several ways, from bulkier solar panels to lightweight solar shingles, like the Tesla solar shingles. Solar shingles, though pricier than regular panels, boast a sleeker design. They provide installation flexibility, as they are suitable for any roof type. Moreover, they are very energy efficient. In some states, you can even receive a tax credit for a solar roof installation.


  • Renewable energy generation

  • Energy cost savings

  • Environmental benefits

  • Increased property value

  • Long lifespan

  • Tax credits


  • Higher upfront installation costs

  • Requires parts of the existing roof to be removed (for solar shingles)

  • Lower energy efficiency compared to solar panels (solar shingles)

  • Limited design and aesthetic options (for some solar shingle systems)

  • Needs compatibility with the roof style

  • Relies on sunlight to be effective

metal roof in dubai

4. Metal roofs

Metal roofing is a simple, environmentally-friendly roofing option. Similar to cool roofs, materials used for metal roofing are made to be reflective to bounce the sun’s rays away from the home. This helps keep internal temperatures down and decreases the use of a home’s energy to cool down the interior. Metal roofs are durable, long-lasting, can be made from recyclable materials, and can be recycled when they reach the end of their lifespan. Additionally, metal roofs offer quicker installation with a snap lock mechanism.


  • Long lifespan of 50+ years

  • Fire, rot, pest, and harsh weather resistant

  • Highly reflective

  • Made from recyclables

  • Lightweight

  • Low maintenance

  • Quick installations


  • Higher upfront costs

  • Noisy during rain and hail storms

  • Possible denting

  • Limited style options

  • It can increase heat during hot months

composite tile roofing

5. Composite tile or shingle roofs

Composite tiles or shingles refer to roofing made from a mix of materials, including fiberglass, asphalt, recycled plastic, and other sustainable materials. Composite roofing offers a lightweight, durable, and cost-effective alternative to natural materials. Being synthetic, these roofing tiles can mimic various shingle types including popular designs like the cedar split shake and synthetic slate, offering homeowners on a budget a wide range of aesthetic choices.


  • Affordable

  • Can replicate many natural materials

  • Lightweight

  • Wind, impact, and fire resistant

  • Low maintenance


  • Shorter (but still long) lifespan

  • Color fading

  • Vulnerable to severe weather

  • Not always 100% sustainable

6. Rubber shingle roofs

Rubber shingles are made of recycled tires, rubber, and other recycled plastics. Rubber shingles are both durable and affordable, costing slightly more than asphalt shingles. They have a significantly longer lifespan, and some manufacturers boast that rubber shingles can last a lifetime. Like composite tiles, their synthetic base makes it easy to mold them into replicas of other natural roofing materials, like cedar shake tiles. Their makeup makes them resistant to issues that natural roofing materials typically have, such as mold, pests, breaking, fire, and harsh weather conditions. 


  • 100% made from recycled tires

  • "Lifetime" lifespan

  • Mold, pest, fire, harsh weather, and breaking resistant

  • Versatile style options


  • Higher initial cost

  • Color fading

  • Limited availability

Turn Your Roofing Business Into A Green Business

When it comes to providing roofing material options for your customers, make sure to keep these energy-efficient options at the top of your list. As sustainability becomes more common in American homes, homeowners are looking for ways to do their part in protecting the environment. They will be happy you introduced them to these money-saving sustainable roofing options. 

Establishing yourself as a green roofing business can help bring a wider customer base. Enhance your roofing business's sustainability by equipping employees with tools to increase their eco-friendly practices and minimize waste.

Roofing estimation software companies like Pitch Gauge ensure you properly estimate the amount of roofing material you need, decreasing the waste generated during a roofing installation or update. With the app, you can conveniently order sustainable roofing materials directly from suppliers, simplifying coordination across multiple projects. Additionally, you can use the services of a sustainable dumpster rental company like Sourgum Waste to ensure your roofing waste is recycled and avoids landfills when possible. On top of that, for every roofing dumpster you rent, Sourgum Waste plants a tree!

Why Energy-Efficient Roofing?

Sustainable roofing has many benefits besides the obvious one of being better for the environment. Sustainable roofing can help homeowners decrease utility bill costs, make their homes more comfortable, increase property values, and in some cases, make homes more aesthetically pleasing. For roofers, eco roofing can help you save time on installations, decrease the need for maintenance and labor costs, and add tremendous value to your business's reputation.

Looking for environmentally friendly waste services?

Sourgum Waste not only provides you with the best service at the best price, but we are also committed to sustainability. We divert waste from landfills whenever possible and plant a tree for every order placed through us.

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