White House to lead by example by installing solar power panels

| by John Johnson
White House to lead by example by installing solar power panels

The U.S. government has doled out billions in loans and grants over the past 12 months through the Recovery Act so that businesses and homeowners can install solar power. Now, the White House is getting into the act too.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced this week that the White House will install solar panels in an effort to reduce energy usage and promote the benefits of solar energy.

"President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy," Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a release. "By installing solar panels on arguably the most famous house in the country, his residence, the President is underscoring that commitment to lead and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States." 

By the end of next spring, solar panels and a solar hot water system will be installed on the roof of the White House. Secretary Chu said the solar install will serve as a DOE demonstration project to prove that solar technology is available, reliable and ready to install in homes throughout the country.

"We are delighted to see the White House take this step," said Jennifer Marrapese, executive director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. "It’s a really important symbol for the American public, and it may raise the consciousness of the average homeowner that solar is something they should consider."

By installing solar panels on their homes, consumers are able to effectively lock in the price of electricity they will pay in the years ahead, acting as an insulator against future rises in prices. Financial incentives are available to offset the initial costs of installing solar energy systems, including a 30 percent federal tax credit and additional state, local, and utility incentive programs to encourage the deployment of renewable energy. 

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency has additional information about state, local and utility rebates for solar generation throughout the country.

Topics: Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Solar Power

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