Whether you know it or not, you have interacted with a Title 24 “Cool Roof,” and you likely do on a regular basis. You may have purchased one for your property or saw one glowing on a Google Maps satellite image, and you have definitely walked into a building with one. So, what is a Cool Roof?

Cool Roof

While you might be picturing an asphalt shingle wearing sunglasses, a Cool Roof actually describes any energy efficient roof, and in our case, one that meets special building efficiency standards mandated by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC).

For California property owners and managers, Cool Roofing is an area you can’t afford to ignore. Having a Cool Roof translates into real savings directly to your bank account while keeping yourself and your tenants cooler. Even more, an energy efficient roof can last one third longer, prolonging the expense of re-roofing with a reflective, snow white finish. 

Energy efficient roofing materials and techniques are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. As a result, you’ll have lower roof and attic temperatures on sunny days, which reduces the need for, and burden on, air conditioning.

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That means your A/C unit, ceiling fan, and sweat glands don’t have to work as hard to keep you and everyone around you cool and comfortable. By lowering attic temperatures via an energy efficient roof, you can save on air conditioning costs by as much as 10 to 15% according to the Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR program.

You may already be interested in buying an energy efficient roof, but based on your building’s location, you may be FORCED to get one, especially in the City or County of Los Angeles. But what if you have a newer roof that’s not due for a re-roof? A Cool Roof coating can achieve similar efficiencies and longevity, especially when paired with a roof restoration tune-up. Several options are available to balance performance and cost savings while achieving longevity and efficiency.

Equip yourself with more information so that you can make informed, cost-effective decisions for your roof. See how Title 24 Cool Roofs came into existence, where they stand today, and what to do next. 

How Title 24 and Cool Roofs Started

In 1974, the California Energy Commission (CEC) was created to coordinate energy efficiency standards for buildings in California. Before then, the State was growing rapidly, and on top of that, energy consumption per person was rising over 50%. Total energy consumption was skyrocketing, and the brakes needed to be pumped.

A few years later in 1978, the CEC combined all of the building codes and standards into one umbrella of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and called it Title 24 Building Standards Code. Of that, Part 6 has the requirements for energy efficiency. This is what your building and safety inspector is referring to when they’re at your property looking for violations for which to issue you a citation. 

Since then, having energy standards on buildings and appliances has reduced energy consumption by $56 billion. Even still, California is hyper-focused on strengthening the requirements of Title 24 tied to climate change initiatives. These requirements are here to stay, and they’re updated regularly to keep up with innovation and trends.


What to Watch Out for Today 

For over a decade now, every new and re-roof application in Los Angeles must be “Cool Roof compliant” with Section 6 of Title 24 in the CCR. How do they enforce it? The CCR mandates that the materials used for a Cool Roof must be labeled and rated by a third party, namely the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC). Before issuing a roofing permit, the Department of Building and Safety will check for a CRRC rating, and that the contractor has a valid license with the California State License Board (CSLB). 

Two key features of an energy efficient roof are solar reflectance (SR) and thermal emittance (TE). The first measures how well a material can reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, and the second measures how much of the absorbed energy gets released.

Both are measured from 0 to 1, and the higher the value, the cooler the roof. For example, if a cap sheet has a “solar reflectance” of 0.20, that means it reflects 20% of solar energy. This is where you can maximize cost savings in the long term. The more heat your roof reflects on a hot summer day, the less heat there is to transfer into your building’s living space below.

The simplest approach to complying with Title 24 requirements, but not always the cheapest, is replacing the roof with new energy efficient materials. If your roof is relatively new or still in decent condition, look into a Cool Roof coating system, which can be a great value and a highly effective alternative to starting from scratch. Referred to as industrial sunscreen for your roof, a snow white, Elastomeric coating applies like a driveway slurry coat and can provide great protection. When combined with a roof restoration coating to freshen-up your dried out and tired roof, it can be a lasting solution that can eliminate leaks and prolong the life of your roof.

When you are getting roofing quotes, pay special attention to those highlighting Cool Roofing in their bid. Proceed with caution around anyone not pointing this out, and especially with anyone trying to diminish its importance. 

Be prepared to talk with your contractor, first to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of, second to ensure the job is done right, and third to ensure you save the most money possible in the long run. Explore https://coolroofs.org/ by the Cool Roof Rating Council, and always work with a qualified roofing contractor (to know how to tell, see Part One of our Roofing 101 Series). An experienced and knowledgeable roofing contractor will help you navigate the maze of Title 24 requirements. 


Roofing 101 is provided for by Royal Roofing Company and led by industry veteran and owner Steve Pinkus. Royal Roofing Company has stayed in continuous business for nearly 40 years in Southern California under the same license. That’s because they only hire the “best of the best” roofers and use the finest quality materials. They maintain the highest level of business integrity, as proven by their 38-year CSLB license that stands without a single violation, citation, or disciplinary action.

For more resources or to schedule your free estimate, visit https://royalroofing.com/roofing-101/, call their office at 562-928-1200, or reach out to Steve directly at 213-305-0277 and [email protected] Mention “Roofing 101” to your Royal Roofing Company specialist to receive an exclusive 10% discount on your roof up to $1,000.