Arizona, Philadelphia and New York City are at the forefront of a movement to paint building roofs with heat-reflective paint, a simple step that can reduce surface temperatures by as much as 60 degrees and save on energy costs. Arizona mandates such "cool roofs" for all public or publicly funded buildings. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has called cool roofs "one of the quickest and lowest-cost ways" to reduce carbon emissions and asked that his department's roofs be painted white when possible. Cool-roof options go beyond white reflective paint; more sophisticated layering technology allows different colors while retaining the ability to reflect sunlight.
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