Some 90 percent of U.S. buildings have dark-colored roofs which, when exposed to full sun can increase in temperature by as much as 90 °F. A white roof typically increases temperatures only 10-25 °F above ambient air temperatures during the day. Pictured: The White Roof Project at work. Credit: Courtesy White Roof ProjectEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that simply painting your roof white can reduce household electricity bills by 40 percent. Is this something any of us can do? — Susan Pierson, Sumter, SCYes anyone can do it—and the benefits can be significant, especially for those in warmer climates who expend a lot of energy keeping cool. But most of the world’s roofs, including on some 90 percent of buildings in the U.S., are dark-colored.Dark colored roofs absorb more heat from the sun’s rays than light colored ones, and as such get much hotter. A black roof exposed to full sun can increase in temperature by as much as 90 °F (50 °C), meaning the air conditioning inside has to work that much harder to compensate for the added heat load.But a white or reflective roof typically increases temperatures only 10-25 °F (5–14 °C) above ambient air temperatures during the day. This translates into a savings of up to 15 percent on air conditioning energy use over a year for a typical one-story residence, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The upshot of this energy savings is not only cost savings for the consumer—annual energy bill savings of 20-40 percent aren’t uncommon for single story homes in America’s Sun Belt—but also reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions generated in the production of electricity.A white roof also helps keep buildings and houses without air conditioning cooler in the summer than they would otherwise be. And it also helps mitigate the “urban heat island effect” whereby a city can be 6-8 °F warmer than its surrounding areas on warm summer days.The non-profit White Roof Project promotes the concept across the U.S. and last year painted some 30 buildings, helping hundreds of families lower their energy bills in the process.“A white roof project is low cost, easy to implement, relieves stress on the power grid, cuts down on smog, and creates tangible change for individuals, our communities, and even globally,” reports the group, which is looking to expand its work across the country significantly in 2013 and expand internationally in 2014.The White Roof Projects gives away instructions (via a free downloadable “DIY Packet”) to help do-it-yourselfers paint their own roofs white without hiring a painter or roofer. All it takes is a few painting supplies, a couple of cans of highly reflective elastomeric white paint, and a plan for how to cover all relevant surfaces properly and safely. Those who would rather hire someone to do the ladder climbing and paint application can hire any local painter or roofer.While green roofs may be preferable from a strictly environmental perspective in that they contain plants that filter pollutants and reduce run-off, white roofs may indeed provide more overall environmental benefit for the cost of a couple of cans of special white paint. Indeed, painting the roof white might be the best energy efficiency improvement you can make to your building or house.CONTACTS: White Roof Project, www.whiteroofproject.org; DOE Cool Roof Fact Sheet, www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/pdfs/cool_roof_fact_sheet.pdf.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk[email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Board takes up Art. V rewrite bill September 15, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Board takes up Art. V rewrite bill Senior EditorA pending legislative bill that would reduce the jurisdiction of Florida’s courts may be taken seriously by lawmakers, according to the chair of the Bar’s Legislation Committee. However, Hank Coxe reported to the Board of Governors last month that HJR 1, filed by Rep. Bruce Kyle, R-Ft. Myers, is not as drastic as a similar proposal from the last legislative session that would have given the legislature at least some oversight of the legal profession. (See story in the August 15 Bar News. ) The board also sided with the ABA in voting to oppose a Federal Trade Commission interpretation of a federal privacy bill affecting lawyers who do financial work, and heard a report on Bar-supported legislation to get state funding for legal aid agencies. Coxe said the Legislation Committee reviewed Kyle’s proposed constitutional amendment. “The bill is not a fluke,” Coxe said. “It was filed by design, it was well thought out. Rep. Kyle is well considered in the legislature, and this was done with the approval of the speaker.” Coxe noted that Kyle was not willing to include many radical proposals from last year’s bill and concentrated on items that limit jurisdiction of the courts and also increase legislative control of the court system. “I think the idea is to narrow as much as possible the courts’ jurisdiction,” he said. “In the Legislation Committee, we discussed at length the best way the Bar should approach this bill,” Coxe said. “It is not a draw-the-line-in-the-sand situation. There are a lot of opportunities to discuss the matter intellectually.” He said the Legislation Committee and advisors favored further careful study of the measure. He said the Bar should look at bringing in experts on court jurisdiction to more fully consider the implications of such legislation, prior to taking any position on the bill. In response to a question, Coxe said he interpreted a provision of the bill saying courts could decide only actual cases in controversy as eliminating declaratory judgments. Board member Louis Kwall noted that could inhibit insurance companies in many of their routine legal actions. The bill would also allow the legislature to give one of the state’s five district courts of appeal statewide and final jurisdiction on any issue, such as hearing death penalty cases, Coxe said. Another section would limit quo warranto writs to reviewing the right of a public official to hold an office, and not actions by that official. Other writs would also be restricted and the legislature could establish a two-year or longer statute of limitation on habeas corpus writs. The measure also gives the legislature more control over court procedural rules, including allowing amendments by a majority vote of the legislature instead of the two-thirds margin now required. If passed by the legislature, the amendment ——–— which has already drawn critical print media editorial comment — still would have to be approved by voters. The board unanimously endorsed the Legislation Committee’s recommendation that the Bar oppose the FTC interpretation of the federal Gramm- Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Industries Modernization Act of 1999. (See story in the July 15 Bar News. ) The law requires financial institutions engaged in significant financial activities with customers to disclose their privacy policies on sharing or safeguarding information. The FTC has interpreted the law as applying to law firms and individual attorneys, notably those involved in real estate transactions, title insurance work, debt collection, tax planning and management consulting and counseling activities. The ABA is already on record as opposing the FTC’s interpretation, noting that lawyers already have stricter codes and confidentiality obligations. Coxe said the Bar’s position is identical to the ABA’s. During his report, Bar President Terry Russell said the Bar is moving ahead with the proposed Civil Legal Access Initiative. He said Rep. J. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, and Sen. Burt Saunders, R-Naples, are cosponsoring the bill, which seeks $10 million in state funds for legal aid agencies. As drafted, the bill stipulates the money be used in cases to help children, domestic violence victims, and the elderly who are abused. Russell noted the whole issue of access for the poor and middle class was the subject of the board’s annual retreat, which followed the August business meeting. (See stories elsewhere in this News. )
continue reading » CUNA and other trade organizations highlighted what data breach legislation should look like to leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week in response to a request for comments on such legislation. CUNA supports strong national data security and breach notification requirements.“Any legislation enacted into law must ensure that all entities that handle consumers’ sensitive financial data have in place a robust–yet flexible and scalable–process to protect data, which must be coupled with effective oversight and enforcement procedures to ensure accountability and compliance,” the letter reads. “This is an important step to limit the onslaught of breaches and reduce risks to consumers and the significant costs imposed on our members from breaches.“This standard should apply to all entities that handle sensitive personal and financial data in order to provide meaningful and consistent protection for consumers nationwide,” it adds. 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr