An Efficient Approach for Climate Change

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

The widening public debate over what the U.S. should do to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) and other "greenhouse" gas (GHG) emissions is creating welcomed awareness about how important it is to use energy more efficiently.

Getting the most use out of every therm of natural gas and kilowatt-hour of electricity a home or a business buys can help the country to lower its GHG emissions. And as every successful hotel company knows, it can improve the bottom line as well.

Advanced, energy-efficient technologies are the key for cutting emissions and saving money. With Congress now drafting legislation to reduce the country's GHG emissions, we are urging it to adopt a technology-driven approach that is economy wide and keeps energy affordable, which will benefit both consumers and the nation's competitiveness alike.

We also encourage you to specify energy-efficient technologies whenever you are building, remodeling, or just replacing light bulbs. Besides their cost savings and environmental benefits, energy efficient climate-control, water heating, cooking, and lighting systems will also create a building that is more comfortable and productive for guests and employees alike.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), if you incorporate energy- and resource-efficient technologies from the start of a building project, you can earn energy savings up to 50 percent compared to traditional hotel designs. Renovations to existing hotels-replacement of inefficient boilers, lighting, and other systems-can save up to 30 percent on annual energy costs. Even implementing no-cost and low-cost solutions can yield savings up to 10 percent or more.

I encourage you to learn more about the high tech advances in equipment and building design. There are many resources to guide and even reward you, including your electric utility.

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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.