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White House installing solar panels on first family residence

Washington (Reuters) - The White House has started installing solar panels on the first family residence as part of an energy retrofit that will improve the efficiency of the building, a White House official said on Thursday.

President Obama in 2009 directed federal agencies to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy, and in late 2010 pledged to put solar panels on the White House.

It is not the first time a solar system has been installed on the White House roof. President Jimmy Carter put panels up in 1979, but they were removed in 1986 during roof repairs made under President Ronald Reagan and never replaced.

A decade ago, President George W. Bush installed a small solar system on a maintenance shed that serves the White House grounds.

The official did not specify the manufacturer of the solar panels, but said they are "American-made."

(Reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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