WASHINGTON – The White House began installing solar panels this week on the first family’s residence, finally making good on a pledge President Obama made almost three years ago.
The installation follows a speech Obama made in June on tackling the causes of climate change and dealing with its effects. Administration officials announced in October 2010 that solar panels would be installed in the White House as part of an initiative to make government buildings more energy efficient, but the work was repeatedly delayed.
Environmentalists and solar energy companies welcomed the news.
“Solar is fast becoming America’s most popular home improvement, and we are very pleased to see the first family follow the American people’s lead. Support for solar energy is one issue that rises above the political fray,” said a statement from Sungevity, an Oakland-based solar company.
Sungevity was part of a coalition of solar businesses and environmental groups that petitioned the administration in early 2010 to bring back solar power to the White House. President Carter had solar panels installed there, but President Reagan had them taken down in 1986.