President Barack Obama announced that he was putting solar panels on the roof of the White House in order to lead by example in the drive toward renewable energy. Here is a brief history of electricity consumption at the presidential residence:

  • Sept. 1901–Mar. 1909: The White House spends a fortune on incandescent bulbs due to Teddy Roosevelt's habit of shooting the lights out every night with his Winchester Model 1895
  • Dec. 1910–Mar. 1911: William Howard Taft goes an entire winter without turning on the heat, living off 220 pounds of stored fat
  • May 14, 1926: In the custom of the Roaring '20s, Calvin Coolidge installs a large, energy-consuming neon sign on the roof that flashes "USA"
  • Nov. 2, 1939: FDR saves electricity by not using White House elevator
  • Apr. 15, 1955: Twenty percent of the White House's electricity is supplied by Vice President Richard Nixon pedaling a stationary bicycle
  • Aug. 8, 1977: Jimmy Carter does some bullshit with peanuts
  • Feb. 10, 1984: President Reagan delivers a two-hour-long speech to his staff on the importance of turning the lights off in a room if you're not using it
  • Dec. 11, 1989: A Secret Service man is assigned to keep an eye on the thermostat