First Solar Panels at the White House

Did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the most famous installation of solar panels in American history? Solar panels weren’t such a common sight on the roofs of American homes in the 1970s, but in 1979 they were installed on the roof of the most famous home in the United States. The story of the first solar panels at the White House took many twists and turns and although they were controversial at the time, they helped start the solar revolution in this country. GreenLeaf Solar wants to tell you this story from the 20th century and wants to show you how it resonates in the 21st century.

GreenLeaf Is Long Island’s Solar Power Leader

If you’re thinking of converting your home or business to solar, GreenLeaf is Long Island’s leader in solar power. We’re experts in installing both residential and commercial solar panels and we’ll explain the installation process to you and how you can get the most out of solar. We’ll also talk to you about ways you can save money with solar panels. Our staff is licensed and certified in all aspects of solar panel installation. Now, let’s take a look back at the June 1979 solar panel installation at the White House.

All About President Carter’s Energy Policy

Those first solar panels in the White House were installed by our 39th President, Jimmy Carter. Much of Carter’s domestic policy focused on issues related to energy. America was in the midst of an energy crisis. Shortly after entering the White House in 1977 with bitter cold triggering a national gas shortage, Carter urged Americans to lower their thermostats and ordered them down to 65 degrees in government buildings. Later in his term, gas lines formed in the U.S., as the OPEC oil cartel disrupted oil supplies. It was against this backdrop that President Carter installed solar panels.

The Rise, Fall and Subsequent Rise of the White House Solar Panels

On June 20, 1979, Jimmy Carter put the solar panels on the roof of the West Wing of the White House, according to ThoughtCo., Carter predicted that “a generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.

You can make the argument that all of the options Carter predicted happened. Those solar panels didn’t stay on the White House. They were actually taken down by his successor, President Ronald Reagan in 1986. One of Carter’s solar panels did become a museum piece and was displayed at the Smithsonian. But Carter’s solar panels were not the only solar panels ever installed at the White House. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both installed solar panels during their administrations.

Let GreenLeaf Help You Be Part of the Solar Adventure

The adventure president Carter envisioned the day the first White House solar panels were installed is still very much alive and GreenLeaf can show you how you can be part of it. Today’s solar panels are more powerful and efficient than the ones that made history in 1979. If you’d like to help lower our dependence on fossil fuels while saving money, call (631) 509-1747 or contact GreenLeaf today.