has reported on a condominium association in Breckenridge that was thinking outside the box when considering renovation options for the community.  As part of the renovation project, the Longbranch Condominium Owners Association (“Association”) was looking at replacing the Association’s boilers. 

In researching options for heating water, the Association worked with a team of three companies (Mech Tech, RE-Align and Sunshine Solar) to create and install a solar thermal supplemental hot water system. This system will provide about 75% of the hot water utilized by residents in the 60-unit Association. In addition, excess hot water will supplement the pool, sauna and hot tub.


Normally we think that solar energy systems for heating water are extremely expensive and unsightly. However, the Association’s system consists of 28 panels which are installed on the rooftop of the project. In addition, the $104,000 cost for the project did not require the owners to dish out any money. Instead, the Association took out a line of credit which will be paid back within 5 years. The line of credit is expected to be paid “with money already set aside to pay utility bills.”

““They’ll save enough money on gas each month to pay the loan,” building manager Kim Beres said. Energy savings are estimated at about $20,000 per year. Beres added that, aside from the zero out-of-pocket costs residents face, a $500 tax credit per homeowner and a Governor’s Energy Audit rebate of $15,000 will also come their way.”


Hats off to the Longbranch Condominium Owners Association for coming up with a way to reduce carbon emissions and provide affordable hot water to residents of the Association!