Sen. Carper Praises Obama Administration Decision to Install New Solar Panels on the White House Residence

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, praised the Obama Administration’s decision to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House Residence. These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration project showing that American solar technologies are available, reliable and ready for installation in homes throughout the country. Sen. Carper has championed legislation, the Improving Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Use By Federal Agencies Act of 2010, which would strengthen federal energy management efforts and save taxpayers’ money. 


"I welcome President Obama’s leadership in reducing the federal government’s energy use," Sen. Carper said. "Reducing the federal government’s energy use is not only good for the environment, it is good for the taxpayer. Federal agencies are America’s largest consumer of energy and we should be good stewards of precious taxpayer dollars by using that energy as efficiently as possible. Implementing these proposals will help the federal government lead by example and demonstrate to the American people that energy efficiency efforts can pay real dividends in saving both money and the environment." 


Sen. Carper’s legislation includes proposals to improve accountability and transparency by publishing federal energy consumption data for individual facilities on a searchable website; extend the duration of Power Purchase Agreements to agencies in addition to the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs; and establish a $500 million revolving fund to provide financial support for federal agency energy efficiency and renewable projects, such as new federal building heating and cooling systems.


The PV system will convert sunlight directly to electricity. The solar hot water heater will have a solar collector facing the sun that will heat water for use in the White House Residence. The Department of Energy will now begin a competitive procurement process to select the company responsible for the installations.  


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 electricity prices since the systems installed in homes today are expected to last approximately thirty years. Financial incentives are also 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. Visit HERE for additional information about state, local and utility rebates for solar generation throughout the country.