Cool roofs offer the potential to improve the sustainability of urban areas across Canada. Cool roofs improve air quality by reducing the use of electricity for building cooling and resulting GHG emissions and also help reduce the urban heat island effect. Several cities around the world have adopted policy options and incentives that can be used to promote use of green roofs and cool roofs.
Incentives for residential and commercial private-party use of green roofs and cool roofs
Permitting incentives: Installing roofs in smart growth, infill, redevelopment, or even re-roofing projects can entail substantial permitting requirements. To reduce barriers to green roof or cool roof construction and conversions, communities can offer advantages in the permitting process to projects that incorporate green roofs or cool roofs. For example, communities often offer permitting bonuses to projects incorporating green infrastructure practices.
Financial incentives: Construction or re-roofing projects often entail substantial permitting fees and other costs. To incentivize installation of cool roofs, communities can reduce or waive these fees for cool roofing projects. Communities can also implement grant programs that directly pay for the installation of green roofs or cool roofs on private land, or they can adopt tax rebate programs for green roofs and cool roofs that indirectly finance the cost of installation such as the Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive Program.