Alameda’s Stays Hot Thanks To USDA

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Michael Dann
(406) 585-2580

Alameda’s Hot Springs Retreat, LLC in Hot Springs, Montana is taking advantage of the hot spring on their property to lower their operating costs. They are installing a solar geothermal heating system to provide radiant heat and continuous hot water to all the Retreat’s buildings and 20 guest rooms.
   “The new system will replace seven hot water heaters plus electric and propane space heaters,” said Paul Stelter, owner of Alameda’s. “I’ve penciled out that we will save between 70 and 75 percent of our utility costs, which is huge.”
   To assist with the costs of purchasing and installing the system, Alameda’s took advantage of a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant. 
   This increase in readily available hot spring water and the projected reduction in operating costs has allowed for improvements to be made to the Retreat. The installation of individual outdoor soaking tubs on the new deck will give customers the choice to soak in their rooms or outside. Paul believes the individual tubs will give him an advantage over the competition in the area.
   Jeff Arcel, the system installer, said this is the sixth REAP funded project he has worked on. “This couldn’t have been done without a REAP grant,” according to Jeff. “This is a classic definition of a rural small business. The investment is really helping to make a difference in the Retreat's ability to do business here and ultimately draw more guests.”
   The system is projected to save 120,000 kWh or enough energy to power 11 households per year.

Fast Facts

Obligation Amount$37,448 - grant
Date of ObligationAugust 2015
Congressional DistrictZinke - AL
Senator's Last NamesTester and Daines