MGE doesn't recommend radiant barrier insulation for cold climates

Friday, October 08, 2010

From Madison Gas and Electric's Energy Wise:

Every fall, MGE hears from customers who received a free dinner invitation in the mail to "learn how to drastically reduce your electric and gas bills, with Space Age Technology developed and used by NASA." The product being promoted is radiant barrier insulation, a shiny foil material. The performance and long-term cost-effectiveness of the product depends on what part of the country the home is located in and the amount of existing insulation currently in the home.

MGE doesn't recommend radiant barriers for houses in our cold climate. Why not? The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Florida Solar Energy Center both say that radiant barriers are generally not recommended for houses in a cold climate. In fact, the DOE's "Cool Roof Calculator" says that in Madison, you'd always save more money by adding attic insulation than by installing a radiant barrier in the attic.

Not only that, but customer's tell us that these "free dinner" companies often charge thousands of dollars to install radiant barriers.

MGE encourages you to ask questions anytime you receive these types of solicitations. In addition, you can call MGE's Home Energy Line at 252-7117.