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Family Saves More Than Money With Solar Powered Roof

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MIAMI (CBS4) – What if you could get paid by Florida Power and Light instead of paying them?

That is the case for Esther and Gordon Beard. The brother and sister have a new solar powered roof and water heater thanks to the generosity of others. For years, the Beards volunteered their time at the Miami-Dade Police Department. The department contacted CBS4’s Neighbors 4 Neighbors on their behalf and in turn Neighbors 4 Neighbors reached out to Advanced Green Technologies, which installed a new $35,000 solar-powered roof.

“I love ‘em all,” said Esther Beard. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

The roof was installed a year ago and since then their power meter has been running in reverse, racking up a credit for the energy their home is producing. Some of their monthly bills reflect a $111.00 credit or an $84.00 credit. By years end, Florida Power and Light will be sending the Beards a check for hundreds of dollars.

“That’s pretty good, that’s pretty nice because we’ve always paid them,” said Gordon Beard with a smile.

It is a much needed boost for the elderly duo living on a fixed income. Over the years they said they’ve learned to do without a lot. But the burden of installing a new roof would have been too much for them.

The solar powered roof uses technology that converts sunshine into energy to power the home. The Beards home in Miami-Dade is the first totally solar powered home in the county and one of just a handful in South Florida.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I never knew anything about it until this came up. But some tell me now that other states had them before you did. A lot of people here still don’t know what they are.”

Advanced Green Technologies President Rob Kornahrens said it’s an investment that will ultimately pay for itself.

“During the day, it makes more power than they’re using and then it gets stored on the grid and then at night whatever power they’re using gets back into the house,” Kornahrens explained.

Florida is one of just 14 states in the nation that does not have a clean energy bill to encourage the use of solar powered homes. Previous efforts to get legislation through the state have failed. But right now there is a renewed push to try and do so again. For information on that go to citizensforcleanenergy.com

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