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Hey, White House! Where’s the Solar PV?

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 02/16/2010 in
Updated 02/16/2010

Please go solar and walk me (not necessarily in that order.)

At, our mission is to educate you about solar power rebates and incentives and to encourage you to find out if solar makes financial sense for you.

However, we can educate you until the cows come home, except we don’t have any cows. Plus, there’s nothing like a role model like the President of the United States (or Oprah) to help people to see that solar technology is ready for prime time and makes financial sense.

That’s why we’re making this pathetic and desperate grass roots appeal to President Obama to get some solar panels on the White House again. I hope you’ll join me in sending the President the message below.

Simply copy and paste the text and insert into the president’s email form here. If you’re afraid of email forms, you can directly email our Nobel Prize winning Energy Secretary Stephen Chu at [email protected]. If you’re on Twitter, why, you can tweet this post to the @whitehouse and to the president’s official spokes-dude, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.  Alternatively, you can tweet this post to Oprah, because she’s a super power too.

Remember, that these people are usually ignoring you distracted, so the more you spread the word, the more it feels like November gets their attention.

As for the letter, I’m purposely going to make this appeal a little quirky and funny, because doing the same old yada, yada, yada bull earnest appeal usually goes into a yada, yada, yada same old bull concerned advocate pile.  Okay? Okay! Here goes. (Oh, and don’t forget to share this post with your friends, family, and pets on Facebook, etc. too.)

Email this part:

RE: Solar, White House, and Bo

Dear Mr. President and Energy Secretary Chu,

With all due respect, what’s with the delay of getting solar panels back on the White House?

As you know, your predecessor, President Jimmy Carter, put solar hot water on the Presidential homestead in the 1970’s, but then President Ronald Reagan thought they were unsightly and distasteful to the oil, gas, and coal lobbyists and ripped them off. Bummer, because those panels would still be working and saving tax dollars today.

Now, I know, ironically, that oil man President Bush (Yes, “W.”) allowed the National Park Service to put a solar PV system on a White House maintenance shed, but that’s not, you know, The White House. Frankly, I’m not sure what color that maintenance shed is, LOL! But I digress. A-hem.

The point is, Mr. President, that America needs you to lead by solar example. Could you please at least offset the residential portion of the White House with a solar electric and solar hot water system? There would be so many benefits to this.

As Energy Secretary Chu will tell you, putting up solar panels with today’s “smart” monitoring technology will allow you to show the public a real-time website with the residential White House energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions. You might also inspire more people to take advantage of the 30% solar Federal tax credit and new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs. This, in turn, will inspire me, a lowly registered voter in a battleground state. Not that you should pander to us voters, but isn’t going solar the right thing to do anyway?

So, please go solar, Mr. President; and as a side note, don’t forget to walk Bo.

Respectfully wanting you to lead,

Your name,
City and State.

Last modified: February 16, 2010

16 thoughts on “Hey, White House! Where’s the Solar PV?

  1. Avatar for martin martin says:

    “One way or another, it’s possible.” You are correct.

    A wise decision. It seems to me, a number of other buildings in the district can also use sunlight? :)

  2. Avatar for martin martin says:

    In other words, … an area dedicated to equivalent energy of a the capital. The location may be in another state – as CA:)!?

    For example, a specific number of modules dedicated to a building …

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      All great ideas, Martin! One way or another, it’s possible. They just have to get in gear and get the ball rolling!

  3. Avatar for martin martin says:

    What is the thinking about a proposal for a specific location where there is now lawn for a PV array to provide up to ~20% of the energy requirements a distance away from the point of coupling (PCC)?

    In other words, for instance, a PV array in the general vicinity dedicated for the purpose of renewable energy. A sign may be posted, NEC 690.53, … and UL 969 compliant :)! indicating the purpose of the array.

    Energy is shared right :)? Or build an array somewhere which is equivalent to 100% of the energy requirements somewhere …

    What do you think?

  4. Avatar for Emil Emil says:

    Tor, the federal government isn’t eligible for the District Department of the Environment’s PV rebates. However, there have been many discussions on this topic here in DC. Though there is already some PV and thermal on the grounds, we’d all love to see more. PPAs seem to be gaining ground in this region, so that may be one approach.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Emil, thanks for responding. I realize the Feds aren’t eligible its own grants and rebates. I was hoping that a solar company might offer the equivalent of those rebates and tax credits. Perhaps even a mock PACE program? Of course, you’re right the most practical solutions would be a solar power purchase agreement (PPA). So what’s stopping it from happening?

  5. Avatar for Home Solar Panels Reviews Home Solar Panels Reviews says:

    Nice article – retweeted!

  6. Avatar for Liz M Liz M says:

    Awesome idea SolarFred! I just know we can get a ground mount system designed such that it resembles a flag somehow. Anyway, can’t wait to go to the White House Energy Production solar website to see how the building is generating kWh and therms.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Thanks, Liz. If Obama can please the nuclear folk (see today’s news) then surely he can find some solar panel symbolism on the WhiteHouse.

  7. Avatar for martin martin says:

    I guess unless you see the “mark of the nails,” one typically never believes in the sun and ground and pole mounted structures :)

    In other words, think solar is a better option for the long-haul than underground nuclear power plants.

    People should write to the president. Substantial issues at state level require fixing.

    What do you think?

  8. Avatar for martin martin says:

    Hey, for example, these are but a few examples of ground-mounted arrays which place emphasis on beauty.
    GoGreen 1.3kW Micro Grid Station

    In addition, unique structures may have modules attached of others:

    Have observe, most people are not aware of multifunction ground-mounted arrays with regards to the feasibility of parking lot structures, artwork, pergolas, cabanas, covered walkways, … Think ground-mounts structures at the point of use have a substantial potential if people were aware the solar options.

    However, beware of the other ground-mounted alternatives and compare costs. Hope the internal rate of return (IRR) is greater for solar energy systems. e.g.(g.): exempli gratia … :

    Are ‘Easter Egg hunts.’ a game where one hides eggs from children?

    “Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” “… know how to give good gifts to your children, …”

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Great ground mount examples, Martin. Thanks. No comment about the easter egg thing….

  9. Avatar for Sam Harriman Sam Harriman says:

    Nice One Tor! you nailed it buddy

  10. Avatar for martin martin says:

    Specifically, “white house re-enters the age of renewables”

    If additional solar energy systems are considered, would like to propose a beautiful ground-mounted structure in accordance with NEC® 110.27.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Martin, we all love the NEC (National Electric Code) so this would be a good thing. Not sure about the ground mount, however. Would have to be well designed, but cool for the Easter Egg hunts.

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