Heating energy penalties of cool roofs: the effect of snow accumulation on roof

Utilizing a cool roof is an efficient way to reduce the cooling energy use of a building. Cool roofs, however, may increase heating energy use in winter. In cold climates, during the winter the sun angle is lower, days are shorter, sky is cloudy, and most heating occur during early morning or evening hours when the solar intensity is low. In addition, the roof may be covered with snow for most of the heating season. All these lead to a lower (than what is commonly thought) winter time heating penalties for cool roofs.