Plan Your Way Toward Low-Tech Energy Savings

By Steve Kiesner Director of National Accounts, Edison Electric Institute | May 04, 2010

A business buzzword at the moment is sustainability-or operating with concern for the planet's natural resources, so that future generations will be able to meet their needs. As interest in sustainability grows, so too does the importance of using energy more efficiently. Getting more use from every dollar you spend on energy will help to lower the nation's greenhouse gas emissions and improve its air quality. It will, of course, also create significant opportunity for saving money.

In the hotel industry, energy typically accounts for three to five percent of total operating expenses. By becoming more energy efficient, you can lower your operating costs, which will create money to spend on guest amenities, on staff salaries, or on other vital areas.

Too often, though, the goal of becoming more energy efficient is seen as something that can only be reached through large capital expenditures. But in reality, there are many no- and low-cost steps that your company can start taking today to use its energy more wisely. And in doing so, you can lower your energy bill by 10 percent or more. Spending more to save more is always a good idea, but you do not have to put off becoming more energy efficient.

To realize what I call these low-tech energy savings, you need to follow three simple steps:

To get started and organized for success, you must build a team. Ideally, the team should be a task force of several people from various departments within the organization. Key groups are housekeeping and the kitchen staff. Little things they can do, such as resetting thermostats and closing drapes, or turning off lights and appliances that are not needed-will add up to make a big difference in energy costs.

Pull the team together for a planning session and start laying the groundwork. The easiest and least expensive way to identify and evaluate where to start making energy-saving improvements is by having your team conduct a 'walk-through' energy audit. You can find significant energy-saving opportunities this way. The decisions your employees make regarding lighting, heating and cooling, and other appliance use have a major effect on how energy is used in your hotel. The walk-through audit pays particular attention to identifying habits and procedures that can be adopted to use energy more efficiently.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Dee Dee Dochen
Paul van Meerendonk
Michael Schubach
Zoe Connolly
Elaine Fenard
Rene Lewis
Johnna Freud
Jacqueline Clarke
Louis D'Amore
Joseph Ricci
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.