Passive Solar Sunroom Addition, Breckenridge, CO

Passive Solar Sunroom Addition, Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge has a very high elevation making the sun incredibly bright, almost blinding. The people are active in the area and seem to be very fit. Obviously the ski hills make the area famous, but it is also a great place to visit in the fall.

Innovative Energy helps homeowners in Breckenridge and area, educating the locals and helping with the planning and installation of Photo Voltaics. They generously introduced us to Ric and Dianne.

Breckenridge Solar Reno

The side of the home showing the Solar PV and the sunroom

When the couple decided an addition was needed in their home, they chose to build a Passive Solar sunroom.

As they are on a hillside, this room is actually lower and is open to the main living space on the second floor above. This allows sunlight to fill both floors of their home. Heat rises from the two-story windows – facing south of course – and bathes their living space with light and warmth. Additional heat comes from the sunroom wood stove, almost a necessity in this high altitude, mountain climate with its cooler winters.

One thing led to another and Ric and Dianne were unable to resist adding Solar Photo Voltaic panels to the roof of this addition. To them, it just made sense.

Ric says they should be banking considerable energy from this installation – shown on their grid-tied meter – but a mistake from their electric company has actually charged them for additional energy rather than banked it. He is presently working this out and should see their bills being reduced really soon. Ric told us that his next call is to the CEO of the company… Understandably, he is a bit frustrated!

Breckenridge Solar sundeck

Ric and Dianne from their Breckenridge sun deck

On the day of our visit, Ric was busy cutting down some of the beetle killed trees on his land. The wood will not go to waste and he will burn the wood in his sunroom wood stove, helping to heat his home in the winter.

Ric and Dianne will enjoy the natural warmth from their sunroom – as well as the savings in the winter. They are doing their part to cut down on the energy they take from the grid and putting considerable energy back in through their grid-tied PV.

Theirs was a simple fix but every bit counts. Proving you can do your part, yet save as well.


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  3. I suppose one has to do a lot more in the higher and colder climates to be self sustaining and live off the grid.