Energy Policy and Your Business: Prepare Now for Change

By Jim Poad Director of Client Solutions, Advantage IQ | July 16, 2010

National climate and energy policy has been batted around for the last several years. In 2009, Obama introduced a plan to cap carbon emissions and spend $15 billion on R&D in the clean energy space, but it was met with heated resistance.

In early 2010 legislators went back to the drawing board, and created a new draft of an energy bill. Very little has been disclosed about the contents of the bill. However, we do know that it aims for a 17 percent reduction of 2005’s levels of climate-altering gases by 2020. Further details of the bill had not been released when this article went to publication.

So why should hoteliers prepare themselves for effects of climate legislation sight unseen? Even without knowing the bills exact stipulations, we can be sure of two things.

  • Policy change will happen. Whether it’s one year from now or 10, the U.S. will implement some sort of energy policy to keep pace with and set standards for global climate policy.

  • When it changes, energy will cost more. You can’t reduce emissions by 17 percent without targeting the country’s biggest contributors: the energy industry. And emissions-reducing innovation costs money, whether it’s achieved by finding new energy sources or giving the old ones a facelift. Those costs will be passed through to businesses.

It’s difficult to predict further effects of the latest iteration of the energy bill, but one thing’s for sure. Hoteliers should understand and analyze their energy consumption profile today, and determine what steps they need to take to prepare themselves for the day the bill becomes law.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.