Program to replace roofs with lighter color shows progress

San Antonio Under 1 Roof Program launched in May

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Homeowners and researchers agree that a roof-replacement program aimed at reducing temperatures and utility bills is working.

San Antonio Under 1 Roof Program was launched in May, when 10 homeowners were selected to get their roofs replaced by lighter-colored roofs.

Jose Hernandez is one of the homeowners who was selected for the program.

Hernandez said when the city replaced his roof in July, he could immediately "feel" the differnce.

Hernandez, who once had utility bills as high as $600, can also tell the difference in his pocketbook.

"On our bills it shows, the way our bill was before and since we got the roof," he said. "Little by little, but it's been going down." 

District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino helped launched the program that he said was also designed to keep people in their homes for a longer period of time.

Trevino said data compiled from UTSA researchers, who have been tracking the progress of the pilot program, shows that there is a temperature drop in the homes.

"We literally lowered the temperature inside the homes by 23 degrees, Trevino said. "Every single home we did was impacted. We are really excited the data is showing that it works."

The program started with 10 homes in District 1, and has expanded to District 2, where the districts have historic homes.

Shanon Miller, director of the office of historic preservation, said for the most part, replacing roofs to the lighter color shouldn't be a problem.

"What we look at when someone comes in to make a change to their property, (the main question) is whether or not it is approprate for that particular structure," Miller said. "But in most cases, the white roof is a good solution for historic properties."

The city is working with CPS Energy to unveil a potential rebate program.

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