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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Business News

Solar power was worth the wait for Seminole woman


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Karen Elfallah’s home needed a new roof, but the typical asphalt shingle covering wouldn’t do. So she went looking for an alternative.

“I had heard about solar tiles,” she said. “And I did some research.”

Before long, she found what she wanted.

On Monday, after a three-year wait to get a contractor, a work crew finished replacing the entire roof of Elfallah’s two-story home at 6070 Oakhurst Drive with energy-collecting solar tiles.

For an energy conservationist and Sierra Club member, nothing could be better.

“I am very, very proud of this,” Elfallah said Wednesday.

She still must wait for Duke Energy to install a new electrical meter before she can draw power from the panels, but once she does she expects to cut her electric bill by as much as 60 percent.

The solar tiles for her 2,200-square-foot home didn’t come cheap — about $30,000 to $40,000, including some repair work that was needed. But with energy savings, tax credits and the lack of maintenance required, Elfallah said she will see a return on her investment in six to eight years.

She said hers is only the second solar tile roof installed in Florida; the first was completed earlier this year in Bradenton. But she learned they have been installed for years in Colorado and California, and that’s what prompted her to search for a contractor here. She found one in Tampa, a company called Daylight Concepts, and waited for nearly three years to get it done.

“Finally, I got my wish,” she said.

Elfallah, 55, who is from Bournemouth, England, said solar energy is popular in Europe, so she knew a little bit about the possibilities. Her neighbors, meanwhile, have waited with curiosity to see this new roof as she kept them updated on the progress. Now that it’s completed, “they love it,” Elfallah said. “Already, two of them have asked for estimates.”

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