Ask the Experts!
I have heard that using a white colored or otherwise “cool roof” can have dramatic energy savings benefits. I understand this is true for the hot and sunny south, but I am wondering if this reasoning holds true for the cold Northland.
Cool roofs do make sense for regions with higher cooling loads, but may not be as cost effective here in Minnesota where heating is the main concern. Here are some resources that I found: Minnesota Energy Resources and Treehugger.com.
Before you invested in a cool roof, I would recommend making your home as energy efficient as possible, including adding insulation (particularly in the attic), sealing attic bypasses and upgrading any appliances (furnace, water heater). These will pay back more quickly and make it more affordable should you consider a cool roof in the future.
Answer provided by Neely Crane-Smith, Community Energy Coordinator at the Center for Energy and Environment.