26 August 2013 The White House Goes Solar…Again Posted by: Cindy Hoffman | Leave a comment | Share: Cindy Hoffman, Vice President of Communications Well, it’s about time the White House catches up to little ol’ me in suburban Maryland. The Obama administration has fulfilled its promise to install solar panels on the roof of the White House. Obama is not the first president to install solar panels on the White House. Back in 1979, President Carter had solar panels installed to heat water for the first family’s home. Sounded pretty smart, but President Reagan had them removed. Fortunately, they did not go to waste, as they were installed on the roof of a dining hall at Unity College in Maine. This solar array in Fort Carson, Colorado was built atop a closed landfill. That’s renewable energy smart from the start! (Photo credit: U.S. Army Environmental Command) Thankfully, President Obama does not look at solar energy as the joke that Reagan and his staff did. In his June climate speech, Obama announced a new goal: to have 20 percent of the federal government’s energy usage come from renewable power by 2020. This is a great step in combating climate change, but it’s important to make sure that as we expand our renewable energy resources, they do not negatively impact important habitat for wildlife. That’s why Defenders has been working with the solar industry to ensure that solar development is done smart from the start. Back to me: My solar panels kicked into gear in January, and according to SolarCity, my system has offset 9,767 lbs of CO2 since installation, the equivalent of 4.7 mature trees. Plus, I have been getting rebates from the regional power company because I have been using less power than I have been generating. You can’t beat that! With the impacts of climate change becoming more and more clear, we all need to take steps to decrease our carbon footprint. If you own a house, check out the deal provided by Solar City. I created a video of the installation of my solar panels so you can see what the process was like and what all the equipment looks like. Check it out, and if you are interested, contact Solar City for a personal consultation. The whole process was quick and easy, and there are many payment options, including no up-front costs. And as an added bonus, if you mention Defenders of Wildlife, Solar City will donate $400 to help advance our mission to conserve and protect wildlife. Cindy Hoffman, Vice President of Communications Cindy Hoffman is Vice President of Communications for Defenders of Wildlife and a former senior public affairs specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She has worked extensively on conservation issues including endangered species, national wildlife refuges and migratory waterfowl.