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This is my wildest idea and would probably require giant strides in technology but here goes:
Did you ever notice how much cooler it is under a tree than under any other sort of roof or covering? My theory is that this is because conventional roof coverings absorb and then radiate heat/energy downward producing a space that while it may be shaded, is not much cooler than the surrounding area. Trees on the other hand are absorbing the energy and using it for photosynthesis. Since the energy is being used and directed to the nourishment of the tree, heat does not radiate downward and it produces a much cooler space beneath.
My idea would be to produce a roofing material that is embedded or covered with photosynthesizing material. The material would absorb the sunlight/energy and produce sugars or perhaps even electricity that could be collected or used elsewhere, thereby removing the energy and preventing it from radiating down to the area below the roof.
I see this as a possible covering for homes, businesses, permanent patio covers in homes or parks, etc. When used in buildings it should dramatically reduce cooling costs and, if it is possible to convert the output to electricity, it could even offset some of the cost of installation.
Reward: Installation of the material on my house and any future homes I move to. 

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Color Changing House Paint or Vinyl Siding Printer Friendly Version
the idea is this: in the summer you want your house to repel heat, in the winter you want your house to absorb heat. if you were to make a paint or vinyl siding that became darker when it got cold and lighter when it got warm, it would accomplish the goal.
Reward: just let me know it worked :-) 

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Tapered Spring Printer Friendly Version
An actual tapered steel spring that is a special tool for connecting one or more things. You simply compress both sides inward, and then insert the two or more ends of whatever objects you are trying to connect. This is more of an engineering idea that can be used in millions of purposes. I can imagine toys with plastic tapered springs, that connect to each other in such a way that it creates a shape that has qualities in mathematical computation, and can shrink to a very small size and gain in great size. It has industrial use, house hold use (such as a towel holder), or any other area or use imaginable. It is a spring that is small at the two or more ends and larger in the center making two or more things. It reminds me of the Chinesse Yo-Yo or, the finger cuffs. You would have to compress the spring together to get any thing apart, since a tapered spring can hold so tight that you couldn't pull it apart by your own strength. The strongest, most useful, spring ever made.
Reward: Credit 

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