The rolling out of Joe Biden’s proposed Climate Plan last week has sparked conversations in many different sectors of the economy. The 2020 presidential election has not happened yet, and this plan is not guaranteed to pass in the House or Senate if Joe Biden does win the presidency. However, regardless of the passability of this specific plan, the direction that it takes warrants a closer look at the potential impacts it could have on the roofing industry.
What’s In This Plan?
The proposed “Biden Plan To Build A Modern, Sustainable, Infrastructure And An Equitable Clean Energy Future” is a long read that covers a multitude of social and economic issues. However, the following is a quick overview of the parts we see as being relevant to the roofing industry.
One of the major components of the energy infrastructure segment of the plan revolves around the goal of the United States becoming a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. The plan includes the suggestion of implementing clean energy standards at the state level and the requirement of net zero emissions for all commercial buildings. The plan also includes proposed energy efficient housing plans, plans to upgrade existing infrastructure to be more green, potential cash incentives and rebates for homeowners willing to invest in clean energy sources for their homes, among many other things.
What that could mean for roofing
If this plan is enacted as it is written, there are potential impacts to the roofing industry that are worth considering – both for contractors working in the industry, and for homeowners facing the decision of installing a new roof.
The push for renewable energy that is outlined in this plan is not unique to Joe Biden’s campaign. While it’s not unified, there is a national push toward renewable, clean energy sources and the climate debate seems to be coming to a head. Therefore it is safe to guess that renewable energy mandates may be something that are coming in the future.
This push toward green energy could mean that clean energy mandates are the way of the future. While these mandates are currently uncertain, the possibility means that forward-thinking homeowners who value eco-friendly roofing solutions now may benefit later.
What Are Innovative Roofing Solutions Now?
Solar roofing has become more accessible, and affordable, than ever before. Solar panels are becoming cheaper, and more prevalent, and at the same time, new technological trends are catching on as well.
Solar panels have been a popular eco-friendly roofing option for homeowners for several decades,but in recent years, the price has come down and they have become a more realistic option. Solar panels are installed on top of traditional roofing materials and generate energy for the home through the sunlight that beats down on the roof.
One of the more prevalent trends in the sustainable roofing movement is the solar shingle. These shingles are built with integrated solar technology that allows the roof to harness solar energy.
These shingles are similar to traditional asphalt shingles, so they blend in well with the roof design, and negate the need to add panels overtop of the roof.
Solar tiles are another solar-integrated roofing material that have been hitting the market for the past few years. Similar to solar shingles, they allow the solar-harvesting material to be laid directly on the roof, eliminating the need for large panels overtop. They are aesthetically pleasing, and blend in with the rest of the home well.
Solar skins are thin layers of material that allow light to pass through. This material can be printed on, and in commercial settings can be used for advertising, similar to a roadside billboard. However, for homes, these skins can be placed on top of solar panels to help them blend into the roof for a more appealing aesthetic.
Finally, green roofs, also called living roofs, are an emerging eco-friendly trend in the roofing industry. Green roofs help improve the air quality in the surrounding area because the plants help to filter harmful gases out of the environment. The roof improves the building’s energy efficiency, because it can reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer months by up to 75%, according to the National Research Council of Canada. Green roofs can even be used as community gardens.
Whether it’s this plan in 2020, or someone else’s plan in 2024, it is important to pay attention. Cenvar Roofing values staying on top of the innovative trends in our industry. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a follower and a leader.” Cenvar Roofing strives to be an innovative leader in the roofing industry through our material choices, and our wide variety of installation techniques and options.
We are an Owens Corning company, which means we primarily source our materials from one of the largest, most innovative roofing material companies in the country. Owens Corning is also the manufacturer of the trademarked “Cool Roof Collection” which is a series of shingles specifically designed to reflect the sun’s rays and prevent the transmission of heat into your home. These shingles can contribute to lower home energy costs, because they keep your roof and attic cooler during the summer months. The shingles also reflect sunlight directly back into the atmosphere, and actually positively impact the environment with lower c02 emissions.
As leaders in our industry, we make it a priority to look forward in anticipation of what could come next, and act accordingly. If you have questions about innovative roofing materials and would like to schedule a further conversation with a member of our sales team, we would be happy to discuss your options with you. Please visit our website to find the location nearest to you, and schedule an appointment.
Hannah Brown is the Content Manager at Cenvar Roofing, and the main author of our company blog. Her primary focus is to create and produce content for all mediums that explains the complexities of the roofing industry in simple, straightforward language. Hannah has degrees in Strategic Communication and English from Liberty University, and her work has been featured in multiple print and online publications.