Homeowner feels difference after getting ‘white roof'

Pilot program replacing older roofs

SAN ANTONIO – Longtime San Antonio resident Jose Hernandez has lived in a house built in the 1950s for the last 10 years, and he said on Thursday his electric bills have been as high as $300 to $400.

"Those high bills, sometimes we can't afford to pay that whole bill," said Hernandez.

KSAT first reported about the “San Antonio Under 1 Roof” pilot program back in May.

Under the new program, the city is replacing "old roofs" with new, white or light-colored roofs to offset the heat.

Hernandez is one of 10 homeowners selected to be a part of the program. His roof was the seventh roof to be replaced.

District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino, who launched the pilot program back in May, said the program is designed to lower utility bills and keep people in their homes for a longer period of time.

"By replacing the roof, doing the roof right, we replace some of the rotted decking," said Trevino. "We make some minor repairs, but then we put on a new roof with a better kind of underlayment that really helps to offset the heat. A brand new roof, well done, will allow this person to stay in their homes 20-25 more years."

The city is also partnering with University of Texas at San Antonio. The team from the university will be compiling data from these 10 homes to track just how much of a difference the new roofs will make.

Hernandez said Thursday even though he's only had his new roof for a few weeks, it already feels 20 degrees cooler.

"Before, there was a roof that was dark, pitch black," said Hernandez. "It was hot. Now that we have this roof that's been replaced, it's a little more cooler."

Though the pilot program has already selected its 10 homeowners for this initial project, Trevino is hoping to get more funding so the city can expand the program in the fall.

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