Taking the Energy Star Challenge

By Steve Kiesner Director of National Accounts, Edison Electric Institute | October 28, 2008

You know that getting more value from your energy dollar is always important. The lodging industry spends over $5.5 billion per year on energy. That is a lot room for potential savings. And greater profitability. The need to improve your electric energy efficiency is especially important.

Electricity is an amazing energy source, and demand for it today is at record levels. Looking ahead 25 years, the nation's population is anticipated to grow by 23 percent. The country's GDP is projected to double in that time. And both events lead experts to predict that electricity use will grow 40 percent by 2030.

One way that hotels can improve their overall energy efficiency is by taking the ENERGY STAR Challenge (www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=challenge.bus_challenge). The Challenge is a national call-to-action to improve the energy efficiency of America's commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more. Buildings use $200 billion worth of electricity and natural gas each year.

The energy used by commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. is responsible for nearly 50 percent of our national emissions of greenhouse gases. If the energy efficiency of U.S. Buildings improved by 10 percent, Americans would save about $20 billion and reduce greenhouse gases equal to the emissions from about 30 million vehicles.

ENERGY STAR connects you with a broad range of tools and resources to help you implement a successful energy management strategy. Including tools for Energy Management Guidance, Assess Building Energy Efficiency Improve Building Performance. As you may know, your electric utility is a good source for information and assistance to help you get started. Your account representative will likely have historical data about your energy use. The local electric can also help you with answers about electric utility incentive programs, discount electricity rates, energy-efficient equipment, or any other energy-related question.

When you take the Challenge, you are encouraged to:

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.