The White House announced today that it will soon have solar panels and a solar hot water heater. The installations will be part of a Department of Energy solar energy demonstration project. “President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “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.” Solar power has had an on-off relationship with presidents. President Carter’s 1979 solar installation at the White House was removed by President Reagan in 1986. Then, the first President Bush put in place a system to provide electricity to a maintenance building and heat the pool. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.” Today’s announcement is part of the administration’s stated commitment to clean energy investment, jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department has not lifted a ban yet on deep-water drilling, is expected to announce approval of two large solar collection systems in the California desert and further plans for offshore wind power in the Atlantic. Learn more about reducing your own carbon emissions and support renewable energy projects here.