Obama’s latest green initiative: solar panels on the White House

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In another step showing its commitment to environmental policies, this week the Obama Administration announced that solar panels were being installed on the roof of the White House. A White House official said:

“The retrofit will include the installation of energy-saving equipment, such as updated building controls and variable speed fans, as well as solar generation. The project will help demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy-efficiency upgrades”

The installation is great news for environmentalists and the solar industry alike, albeit long overdue. It was in October 2010 when Steven Chu, then Energy Secretary of the United States, announced the White House would be affixed with solar panels, and encouraged Americans to do the same with their homes or buildings. At that time, Chu stated that the White House solar panels would save the building approximately $2,300 per year in energy costs. While not a substantial amount, given the size of the building, the addition of renewable energy sources clearly has an impact.

And of course, the Obama Administration didn’t opt for the least expensive solar panels – according to the White House’s official statement, the panels and installation crew were both American.

The new solar panel installation also sends a clear message about retrofitting: even old buildings can (and should) support solar panels.

The funny thing is, the White House was actually equipped with solar panels during Jimmy Carter’s presidency in 1979, but they were later removed by Reagan in ’86.

The solar panels aren’t the first eco friendly initiative the Obama have led since taking residence in the White House. The First Lady planted a chemical-free (but not quite organic) vegetable garden on the grounds, and there is also now an official White House bee hive that last year produced 175 pounds of honey.

Hopefully there will be more environmental retrofits coming to the White House before the end of Obama’s presidency.

  • Ian Andrew

    As the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greener Ideal, Ian has been a driving force in environmental journalism and sustainable lifestyle advocacy since 2008. With over a decade of dedicated involvement in environmental matters, Ian has established himself as a respected expert in the field. Under his leadership, Greener Ideal has consistently delivered independent news and insightful content that empowers readers to engage with and understand pressing environmental issues.

    Ian’s expertise extends beyond editorial leadership; his hands-on experience in exploring and implementing sustainable practices equips him with practical knowledge that resonates with both industry professionals and eco-conscious audiences. This blend of direct involvement and editorial oversight has positioned Ian as a credible and authoritative voice in environmental journalism and sustainable living.

1 thought on “Obama’s latest green initiative: solar panels on the White House”

  1. Whoopee! An official White House beehive!. I hope the bees survive the pesticides Monsanto and other agriculture chemical firms insist on pushing. Finally following through on solar panels is good news too. Even if they don’t make the White House net=zero carbon, $200,000 a year savings on electric paying for the solar power system in eight years is nothing to sneeze at.


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