Today's roofs are doing a lot more than just keeping out the rain. If you're a fan of staying up-to-date on technology and you're considering getting a new roof in the coming months or years, then consider including one of these cool new roofing technologies in your plans.

Solar Shingles

No, these are not the big, bulky solar panels you might be picturing. They're actual shingles that have been designed to include photovoltaic cells. Solar shingles serve all of the functions of regular shingles. They form your roof, repel water, and keep the elements out of your home – but they also generate electricity from the sunlight they absorb.

Solar shingles are making solar power an option for homeowners who were previously unable to harness the sun's energy because their home's structure could not support heavy solar panels. If the idea of putting clean, green energy back into the rid sounds appealing to you, then keep solar shingles on your radar.

Cool Roofing Plastics

You may have heard of the cool roof trend, which has many building owners choosing white roofs over black ones since they absorb less heat and reduce energy costs. A new roofing material designed by an Australian company is taking this to the extreme. A plastic material they have designed stays 11 degrees colder than even a standard white roof, thanks to its unique chemical composition. This product is not being widely used yet, but if you have a year or two before you actually need a new roof, you may find that it's an available option to consider by that time.

Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Rainwater collection is nothing new, and most of the systems used to collect rainwater are not exactly high-tech. However, these systems of gullies, gutters, and collection tanks have been honed over the last decade or two, as water conservation has become more important to homeowners. While there was a time when a homeowner would have to devise his or her own rainwater collection system, now there are multiple systems available that a roofing company would be able to customize and build into your roof.

If the idea of using rainwater for watering your plants, taking showers, and maybe even drinking (if you include a filter system in your plans) sounds appealing to you, talk to your roofing contractor about integrating a rainwater collection system into your new roof.

If you're having a new roof put on, why not make sure you have the latest and greatest? Solar shingles, a rainwater collection system, or a cool roof would allow you to get more out of your upgrade. For other options, ask reroofing professionals.