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Georgetown Home Is The First To Go Solar

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One D.C. resident is going green while putting a modern twist on his historic home. He's the first Georgetown resident to install a solar power system.

Patrick Clawson's 128-year-old row house on 33rd Street is now covered by 14 large solar panels. Clawson says he'll save money with the installation.

"The compensation programs that are available from District and the federal government and through Pepco are extraordinarily generous, so I get back from the federal government 30 percent tax credit...I get a check from D.C. government under the incentive program," he says.

Clawson says he will earn back nearly 90 percent of the system's cost through federal tax incentives, a D.C. grant and solar renewable energy credits.

To make this eco-friendly modification, Clawson had to get approval from the Old Georgetown Board, an advisory committee that reviews changes to historic buildings in the neighborhood. The review process took nearly five months and required Clawson hide the new features from view.

"The wires that come down from the roof, they're in what looks like a gutter...and then also the tresses that go from wall to wall that hold the system...they said put a edge on it so that you can't quite tell there's a tress there," he says.

Brian Eglsaer works for Clean Currents Solar, the company that partnered with Georgetown Energy to install this rooftop infrastructure.

"This system is gonna generate about four megawatt hours per year, which is gonna be slightly under half of Mr. Clawson's use for this home...so it's about one-third of the average home's use," Eglsaer says.

President Obama also recently approved the installation of solar panels to be placed on top of the White House.

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