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Installation of Solar Paneling on the White House

With technological improvements making the price of solar paneling more and more affordable, we’ve been able to see an obvious increase in the number homes choosing to take advantage of all that solar energy has to offer. Not it seems as though solar panels have found their way to the country’s most famous address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to an article from The Washington Post, the White House has recent begun the solar panel installation process while the First Family has been on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. To many, this is welcomed news considering this installation was a pledge made by Obama to the American people back in October of 2010, as a sign of his commitment to renewable energy. Better late than never, right?

In reference to these recent strides made by the President, White House officials stated that installation of American-made solar panels has begun and that the project is “a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.” The retrofit will also include the installation of updated building controls and variable speed fans. It is estimated that these upgrades will pay for themselves over the next eight years.

This isn’t the first time that the White House has been adorned with solar paneling however; in the late 1970’s, President Jimmy Carter had 32 panels installed in an effort to provide hot water. Unfortunately, those panels were later removed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 for whatever reason. Then once again, a few panels made their return to Pennsylvania Avenue in 2003 when President George W. Bush had them installed alongside two solar thermal units to heat the White House swimming pool.

Back in 1979, President Carter was quoted on his prediction that the White House’s solar water heater would “either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” President Reagan may not have had faith in Carter’s latter prediction but it seems as though President Obama does – and he’s taking the necessary steps to ensure that our country takes full advantage of it.