Eco-Friendly Electricity in the White House
The History of Electrical Power in the White House
After 220 years, a lot has changed with building technology. The White House was completed in 1800 when the nation’s second president, John Adams, moved in. Over the years, it has been the recipient of numerous updates and facelifts.
The most significant installations include modern amenities like plumbing and electrical service. The White House staff was lucky enough to be served by rudimentary plumbing in the 1830s, but it wasn’t until nearly the 20th century that the White House received electrical service. For President’s Day, enjoy these quick facts about electricity in America’s most famous house.
Pennsylvania Avenue Gets Its First Electrical Service
In 1882, Thomas Edison worked to get sections of Manhattan electrified for lighting. The project was slow to catch on throughout the rest of the country, so slow that it wasn’t until President Benjamin Harrison’s term in 1891 that power was supplied to the White House. Electricity was so new that President and Mrs. Harrison were too afraid to touch the switches to turn lights off and on; they had White House staff do it for them. Before that time, the White House was illuminated like most homes with lamps and candles.
With electrical power supplied, the White House could get new appliances as they became available. 1926 saw the first refrigerator installed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt installed the first air conditioner in 1933 in his private quarters. Electrical infrastructure was replaced during the Truman administration when the White House was gutted for structural restoration.
Solar and Thermal Energy Sources
President Jimmy Carter took things a step further in 1979 when he installed the first solar water heaters on the White House’s roof. The panels were used to heat water for the workers for washing. The panels were removed in 1986 for roof repairs.
Solar energy returned to the White House under President George W. Bush. An array of panels totaling 9 kW were installed to give power to the grounds maintenance team. 2 more solar water heaters were also added to heat the pool and spa. In 2014, President Barack Obama added a smaller array, totaling 6.3 kW, intended to power the residence.
Green Technology at the White House
Since the environmental movement started in the 1970s, much attention has been given to green technology installed by various presidents. Before the green movement began, President Lyndon Johnson had a reputation for going around the White House and turning off the lights in rooms that he thought unoccupied. This earned him the name “Light Bulb Johnson.” His justification was saving taxpayer money on the electric bill.
Apart from solar power, the White House went green in 1993 when President Bill Clinton announced a greening initiative. It included upgrading windows to more efficient models, switching lighting to CFLs, and making the HVAC systems more efficient.
About Point Loma Electric and Plumbing
Point Loma Electric and Plumbing has served San Diego for over 30 years. After all of those years, they continue to take pride in offering the highest levels of service and craftsmanship around. Upfront and flat-rate pricing mean that customers never pay extra for any reason. Contact them today to schedule electrical service from expert San Diego, CA electricians.