Telangana becomes first state to launch cool roof policy to fight climate change

Minister KT Rama Rao said the state government’s ambition was to implement it in government housing schemes, government offices, roads, pavements, and cycling tracks

Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao along with other dignitaries launching “Telangana Cool Roof Policy” in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo credit: Twitter

The Telangana government on Monday launched Telangana Cool Roof Policy 2023-2028 aimed at reducing heat island impact and heat stress.

Unveiling the policy, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao said it has long-term objectives which will be of use to future generations.

Telangana has become the first state in the country to introduce cool roofing as a policy measure and it is a right step in the direction to address future climate challenges, said the minister.

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Third most urbanised state

Telangana being the third most urbanised state in the country with almost 50 per cent of the population residing in the urban areas, there is a serious need to introduce cost-effective and climate-friendly cooling solutions to counter the urban heat island effect, he said in a press release.

“By 2030, 200 square km in Hyderabad and 100 square km in the rest of the state will be brought under cool roofing,” he said. The target set by New York was to cover 10 lakh square feet or 0.1 square km, he added. KTR said that the area under Outer Ring Road (ORR) in Hyderabad was over 1,000 square km and that about 20 per cent of the area inside ORR will be brought under cool roofing.

The minister added that the state government’s ambition was to implement it in government housing schemes, government offices, roads, pavements, and cycling tracks.

All about cool roof

Painted with solar reflective paint, covered in white tiles/membrane, cool roofs are an easy and cost-effective way to help fight climate change. A cool roof takes in less heat from the sun than the regular ones. They reflect around 80% of sunlight as compared with 20% from regular roofs. Thus, buildings with cool roofs stay significantly cooler all the time.

Cool roofs can help keep indoor temperatures 2.1 to 4.3 degree Celsius lower than households with traditional roofs. It will also lower costs since cool roofs need limited maintenance and can save 20 per cent in energy costs.

Cool roofs provide thermal comfort and reduce AC energy consumption on the top floor. A building of 5000 square feet can save 5000 units/year which saves ₹40,000.

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Quick investment recovery

The Telangana Cool Roof Policy 2023-28 envisages to make Telangana a thermally comfortable and a heat resilient state. The mission under the policy will be to ensure faster adoption of cool roofs in the state, to develop an ecosystem of suppliers, trained man power, testing and material to support implementation of cool roofs.

The policy encourages and promotes the usage of cool roof. These roofs reflect some of the sun’s incoming radiation back into the atmosphere thus reducing heat retention and cooling indoor spaces. It will also ensure access of cool surfaces to all and ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of cool roof installations.

KTR urged builders and individuals who construct buildings to take cool roofing which can be implemented by using paints, tiles or other materials to reflect sunlight and retrofitted in existing buildings.

Recalling his conversation with tile and paint companies representatives, KTR said people can recover their investment in cool roofing within two years, in the form of energy savings and others. The minister said that they would also embark on campaigns to explain to people the benefits of cool roofs.

(With Agency inputs)