Profile America — Sunday, January 17 —  There’s been a lot of emphasis lately on making houses that are more energy efficient — with better insulation and windows that seal out heat and cold. Many feature the use of solar panels to capture the natural heat of the sun. The first house in America with solar heating and radiation cooling opened this week in 1955 in Tucson, Arizona. A large, slanting slab of steel and glass converted sunlight into heat, which was ducted into the house. In America’s 117 million occupied housing units, gas remains the most common heating fuel, outpacing electricity — about 57 million to 44 million. Solar energy is the power source for just under 83,000 homes in the U.S., or a bit over point-seven percent of the total.

Sources: Kane’s Famous First Facts, U.S. Census Bureau

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