Via Brothers Judd is an article on Secretary of Energy Chu’s call to paint roofs white to which Judd responds
Sure, it wouldn’t do bupkus for warming … but if it cuts consumers’ bills why not do it?
I would be very surprised if this cut costs for consumers. Any one suggesting this has very likely not actually priced what it costs to paint a roof. I would bet money that painting your roof white is a money loser because you don’t recoup the painting cost before you have to paint it again. And what does all that paint do for the environment?
Semi-off-topic — we’re looking at new air cooling systems for our house. The cost is something on the order of 5-10 times our annual energy costs to cool the house. So even if it made cooling free, it would be the better part of a decade before we had a net economic benefit. At the 20% cost savings claimed, that’s 50-100 years. That’s even with manufacturer rebates and government
subsidies tax credits. It frankly just doesn’t make economic sense, we’re only looking at it because the current units are old and may fail at any time, and just do not have the cooling power needed for the house.
UPDATE: It’s even worse than I wrote here. Suppose it costs $5000 for the cooling units and $1000/year for cooling (these are ballpark numbers for my house). If the upgrade saves 20%, that’s $200/year. But 10 year T-bills have popped up to 3.8%, which means I could get $190/year by buying $5000 worth of them. So I would be netting $10/year, which means the payoff time is five hundred years. Another bump in T-bill rates and I am better off buying them and using that to pay the cooling costs. Double the energy savings and it is still a multi-century payoff.