Implementing Energy Reduction Products to Reduce the Bottom Line
By Amy Bair Career Services Analyst, Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management | January 19, 2014
What is the focus of hospitality? To delight your guests, yes? What is the focus of the typical business owner. Maximize revenue. Nowadays, there is a trend toward being gentler on Mother Earth too. That can cost money and potentially alienate your guests. How does one balance?
Let us imagine that we can have it all. Sustainability. Maximized revenues. Enchanted guests. Does that sound idyllic? Actually, I believe it is possible.
EnergyStar.gov claims on average, hotels spend approximately 6 percent of operating costs on utilities. This equates to around $2196 per available room. " On a more positive note, a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption would have the same financial effect as increasing the average daily room rate (ADR) by $0.62 in limited-service hotels and by $1.35 in full-service hotels."
Hotels have an enormous opportunity here to not only save money but also do good for the environment and keep guests coming back. Some examples:
- A 126-unit prestigious condominium complex in Hawaii saved $270,000 annually in energy bills with a ROI of 2 years - by simply installing window film.
- During a 4-week energy savings test, installing occupancy sensor thermostats in a Florida Hampton Inn resulted in a 51% reduction in runtime and 21% reduction in energy costs.
- The Marriott La Jolla underwent a major energy conservation overhaul. In one year, the improvements "delivered a 12% year to date savings." An annual savings of $200,000 or 27% is expected once the project is complete. From the US Department of Energy Better Buildings site here.
Where to start? Below are some areas you can look at to reduce energy expenditures. Hotels have been known to save up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year by implementing some of these products. Guest safety and comfort are not compromised either.
LED lighting. Quality LED lights last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Additionally, they use 75% less energy and emit significantly less heat which promotes further savings to your HVAC costs and improves guest comfort. If you have 30 incandescent bulbs, the annual operating cost of them is $328.59 compared to LED bulbs which have an annual cost of $32.85. Some hotels install CFL's in the guest rooms. They save money and energy as well. However, keep in mind they have mercury and must be disposed of properly.