There has been a notable push to reduce energy and emissions globally. Although many of us try to reduce carbon emissions, we still want to keep our family cool in summer and warm in winter. Now, scientists at Standford University have unveiled their fantastic invention – a new paint that reduces energy costs by further insulating homes and buildings, which could lower our heating and air conditioning needs.

This paint can potentially lower energy consumption, meaning less greenhouse gas emissions. In this article, I’ll look at this paint, how it works and whether it’s something to consider for your home.

The Energy Efficiency Issue

Space heating and cooling are among the major contributors to global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Heating and cooling account for about 13% of global energy use and approximately 11% of greenhouse gas emissions.


Given the urgency of addressing climate change and moving towards a sustainable future, it’s a concerning scenario. How do we go about reducing the energy needed in human living and work spaces?

Scientists at Stanford University in California have invented a new kind of paint that can be used on both outer surfaces and inner walls. This paint, called ‘low emissivity paint’, uses an infrared layer that reflects heat away as light, meaning that it doesn’t get absorbed by the building as heat.

New Paint That Reduces Energy Costs - How does this paint work - Just Organics
Scientists have discovered a paint that reduces energy costs and looks great on your walls!

How Does This Paint Work?

This paint comprises two layers: an infrared reflective bottom layer containing aluminium flakes and an ultrathin, transparent upper layer filled with inorganic nanoparticles.

The magic of this paint lies in its ability to manipulate the infrared spectrum of sunlight. When applied to exterior walls and roofs, it allows most of the infrared light to pass through the top colour layer. This light then reflects off the lower layer, exiting the surface as visible light rather than being absorbed as heat by the building materials. This mechanism effectively keeps the interior cooler during hot weather.

As mentioned, it can also be used on interior walls, where it uses the reflective properties of the lower layer to minimise heat transfer. This means that it forms an insulation that keeps heat in, warming rooms and buildings and reducing the need for heating.

This dual functionality makes it a versatile solution for indoors and out, regardless of the season.

How is This Different to Reflective Paint?

Reflective paint has been on the market for years. Pretty much all brands have their own version of heat reflective paint. This type of paint contains heat-reflective pigments that reflect infrared light, preventing it from being absorbed into the surfaces. This paint may help reduce the amount of heat transferred through the walls or roof, keeping the interior cooler.

Benefits of Reflective Paints

Using heat reflective paint can have several benefits, including:

  • Reduced energy consumption, leading to lower energy costs
  • Improved energy saving
  • Savings on air conditioning costs
  • Less heat transfer through walls and roof
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

In Australia, the following brands are available:

A Paint for All Seasons

Low emissivity paint is not new. What sets this type of paint apart is that it can come in a broader range of colours, making it more appealing than its predecessors.

Unlike conventional low-emissivity paints, often limited to metallic silver or grey colours, this revolutionary paint comes in a vibrant spectrum of colours. This innovation overcomes a significant hurdle in adopting energy-efficient paints since aesthetics play a crucial role in architectural choices.

New Paint That Reduces Energy Costs - Staggering Results - Just Organics
Using paint that reduces energy costs can lower your bills and still keep your family feeling comfortable at home.

Staggering Results on Reducing Energy Use

The performance of this innovative paint is nothing short of remarkable. In experiments conducted in artificial environments, it lowered energy usage for heating by an impressive 36% and cooling by nearly 21%. Simulations conducted on a mid-rise apartment building in various climate zones across the United States revealed a substantial 7.4% reduction in overall heating, ventilation, and air conditioning energy usage over a year.

Moreover, this paint’s ability to reflect high mid-infrared light proved exceptional. It outperformed conventional paints in the same colours by a staggering tenfold, making it a clear frontrunner in energy-efficient coatings.

Beyond Homes and Buildings: What Are Its Uses?

The most obvious use of this paint is in homes and buildings. However, if we look outside the box, there are other uses.

It can save energy needed for cooling, making it a viable option in refrigerated transportation. Savings can be gained by applying these paints to trucks and train cars, where cooling costs can consume a significant portion of the budget.

These paints are also water-repellant and remain stable in humid conditions. They even remain strong after continuous exposure to extreme temperatures and acidic environments. Scientists continue to work on refining the paint to develop water-based formulations, aligning with eco-friendly practices and facilitating commercialization.

New Paint That Reduces Energy Costs - The paint for a greener future - Just Organics
A new paint that reduces energy costs and comes in great colours? Sounds like the future!

Newly Invented Paints: A Step Towards a Greener Future?

Innovations like this paint hold immense promise as we strive to meet global zero-emissions goals. They address a critical aspect of energy savings that is often overlooked – reducing heat exchange between indoor spaces and their surroundings. With their colourful, versatile, and highly efficient nature, these paints are poised to revolutionise how we think about insulation and energy conservation.

In the quest for a sustainable future, it’s inspiring to see how science and innovation can offer practical solutions that benefit both the environment and our wallets. The journey towards a greener world is paved with remarkable discoveries, and this groundbreaking paint is undoubtedly a vibrant stroke in the canvas of sustainability.

About the Author

Alexs Story - Just Organics - Small Picture


Alex is an adventurous guy in his early 30s who embodies a touch of the hippie. Passionate about social and environmental causes, he’s managed to travel the world, from immersing himself in Japanese culture for a year to embarking on a six-month backpacking escapade through Peru. Alex loves to learn and has taken numerous courses in Environmental Science and Conservation.

Alex’s commitment to recycling fuels his mission to repurpose discarded items. As a result, he favours garage sale treasures over department stores. He prefers walking and biking to driving. Alex spreads awareness about organic living through Just Organics, joined by his like-minded friend Charlie.