Is you hotel energy efficient?
Here is how to….
You wouldn’t think that the words ‘energy efficient’ and ‘hotel’ would be used together in any good way. As luxurious and palatial as some of these establishments are, energy efficiency can’t really be an achievable goal, right? It might be natural to follow that train of thought but things are actually quite different at the ground level.
Eco-friendly existence and a more conscientious way of traveling and living are gaining preference with the audience. As a result, hotels are becoming more and more conscious of their responsibility towards the planet. There has been a concerted effort to reduce wastage and, given that power consumption tends to go through the roof in hotels, they have turned their attention to making their properties energy efficient. Not only does this pull in travelers who stand by energy conservation and eco-friendly practices, the hotel in itself can make significant financial savings in the long run, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Let me clarify here that you don’t have to go in for a grand retrofit project to kick-start your energy savings initiative. There are simple, yet highly effective tweaks, you can make within your property to create a green hotel. Intrigued? Let’s find out how.
Upgrade your lighting solutions
The first thing you notice when you walk into a hotel are the number of lights that are switched on in the property – all throughout the day! It only stands to reason that you would begin your energy conservation efforts here.
The very first thing you should do is swap out the traditional, energy-draining light-bulbs for their LED counterparts. Old school bulbs use up to 80% of electricity to produce light. LED bulbs can bring this consumption down to only 15%. Moreover, these lightbulbs last a lot longer, which means you have to replace them less often. And that’s yet another way of cutting down on expenses.
Next up, look at all the areas in your hotel where the light is left on throughout the day. I am talking about hallways, common rooms, storage areas, and staff rooms that are kept lit 24 hours a day. That’s criminal waste of electricity!
The solution? Switch to motion sensor lights. The lights turn on when you’re in or around the room; otherwise they stay switched off. This simple upgrade can not only bring down your energy bills but also increase the lifespan of your lighting system.
Optimize your HVAC system
There’s no denying that the HVAC system plays a very important role in moderating the temperature indoors, but you can’t also get away from the fact that its energy consumption can very easily go through the roof. Most hotels don’t assess their requirements before getting an HVAC system installed. Or once installed, they ignore its care and maintenance. Get professionals on the job. Let them study the layout of your hotel – rooms, hallways, restaurants et al – and recommend a suitable solution for you.
But don’t depend on your HVAC system alone for heating and cooling solutions. Pay close attention to windows and wall insulation as well. Easy to overlook, but did you know that with proper insulation, you can prevent heat loss during winters and stay cool during summers? What this means is that you will be spending less energy and money on heating and cooling your property throughout the year.
Don’t ignore the kitchen
A hotel kitchen functions round the clock, serving breakfast, lunch, brunch, snacks, dinner, and a host of drinks and beverages to its guests. The commercial appliances in there are bound to be energy guzzlers.
If you haven’t already, upgrade to energy appliances that use both less power and water. Some of them also have programmable software that puts the appliances into energy conservation mode when they’re not being used. The ventilation system should also be serviced and upgraded in a timely manner to regulate the temperature in the kitchen.
Consider key card climate control in guest rooms
Guest rooms account for a 30% of the energy consumption in a hotel. Any energy saving plan you have in a hotel cannot ignore them. In addition to LED light bulbs and a more efficient HVAC system, you should also introduce a key card-controlled climate control.
The principle is quite simple: When the guest is out of their room, the HVAC functions on an ‘economy’ mode that reduces energy consumption by 60%. But the moment he uses his key card to enter the room, the HVAC switches to ‘occupied’ mode and starts heating or cooling the space at optimum capacity. This is a great way of reducing energy consumption in your hotel without inconveniencing the guest in any way.
Energy conservation doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling every single fitting in your hotel and replacing it with something hi-tech and expensive. Simple measures can go a long in way reducing power wastage and helping you move closer to your environment-friendly goals. Plan the upgrade in phases, if you can’t afford to go all out now. Taking tiny steps towards planned changes is still better than not doing anything at all. And with each upgrade, you’ll start seeing noticeable difference in no time at all.
So get started on making your hotel energy efficient. Your guests, the planet, and your budget will all thank you for that!
Ram Gupta is a hotel management graduate. He is a certified Hotel Administrator from U.S. and MIH from U.K. He has over 40 years of sound experience in the Hospitality industry in India, Dubai, U.K, Europe and Japan and is well versed with all areas of business including acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, diversification, strategic planning, development and operations. He has been associated with over two dozen luxury and boutique hotel projects and has launched two hotel chains in India. He is currently an independent hotel consultant and could be contacted at email@example.com. Website: www.bcgglobal.com
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