In a world of uncertain energy costs and environmental concerns among business, energy consumption in hotels has become a major issue. To ensure hotel sustainability in areas like heating, cooling, lighting, and water use, it is crucial to use sound conservation practices. In most cases, hotels need a trusted energy partner to also help navigate and control costs with smart energy procurement strategies. Regardless of the direction you take, we’ll guide you through some actionable strategies that hotel managers can put in place today!
The amount of energy that a hotel will typically consume every month could seem staggering. For example, packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC) account for nearly half of all energy consumption throughout a hotel in the span of a given month. Resistance heating accounts for one fourth of hotel energy expenses. With proper hotel energy saving solutions, you can seriously reduce your monthly energy costs:
You can save even more on your monthly expenses by enacting energy conservation practices.
Hotel energy saving solutions can be used in many areas on your property, from the central heating and cooling system to the lights and water supply. Energy efficiency can also be enhanced with some of today’s cutting-edge solutions and smart technology options. The following energy tips for hotels could help you decrease overhead and increase profits:
To ensure maximum energy conservation throughout a hotel, set the floor-to-floor, building-wide heat settings on auto-control at all times. Use timer switches and thermostats to keep the energy consumption under control, night and day. Inspect the setup periodically to ensure that the thermostats are not compromised by drafts or sunlight. Also check to make sure that fireplaces and radiators do not impact the thermostat settings.
Schedule an inspection of the pipework that leads into the units and common areas of the hotel. If insulation is missing from any of the pipes, have them insulated. This will keep the pipes warmer and reduce the need for reheating water.
Another cause of hot-water energy waste is leaking taps, which can be especially wasteful if the problem is widespread throughout a hotel building. Inspect the taps in each unit of your property to ensure that all taps work correctly. If you find any, have those taps repaired or replaced.
In recent years, building owners have cut energy costs by installing light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, which consume far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs or even fluorescent lights. LED lights can last up to eight times longer than incandescents, making LEDs a worthwhile investment despite the higher upfront cost. LED lights also produce less heat, making them less of a drain on your cooling system. Alternately, if you use fluorescent tubes in your hotel, replace them with compact fluorescents to save energy.
Air conditioning can waste energy on days when the temperatures are moderate. To prevent unnecessary air conditioning use, keep the cooling off until the temperatures are above 74 F. Calibrate your thermometers to ensure they read the temperatures correctly and to avoid incorrect settings.
Unnecessary lighting can be a major cause of energy waste. If the lights are on throughout your hotel around the clock, you are liable to pay high energy bills, regardless of whether your building is regularly filled to capacity. To avoid wasteful lighting, install daylight and occupancy sensors throughout the building. This way, certain lights in little-used parts of the building can be turned off during most hours of the day.
As with all buildings, the Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for hotels to adopt smart technology. To save energy and reduce the consumption of heating and cooling in your building, install smart thermostats and sensors in your hotel. This way, settings will adjust automatically in different quarters throughout the building depending on the temperatures in a given unit or corridor. Real-time sensors can also detect changes in occupancy on a room-by-room basis, saving you even more money on lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Another way to save energy is to recycle it from other sources. With an air-source heat pump (ASHP), energy generated from external atmospheric heat can be transferred to the inside of the building and used for a heating system. An ASHP works by using vapor-compression to capture heat from outside air and then disperse it to another place, in this case, a hotel’s interior. ASHPs can be used in various parts of your hotel for localized heating and cooling purposes, thus reducing your building’s reliance on a central HVAC system.
While you can save on lighting costs by switching to LED lights, you can save even more by installing a smart LED lighting system, which has computerized sensors that detect the lighting needs of each given area. During hours when certain areas of the building are unoccupied, the sensors will detect the lack of activity and shut off the lights. The moment activity is detected, the lights will immediately come on to make the room or corridor safer for passage. Smart lighting systems eliminate the hassle of manually switching lights on and off throughout a hotel premises.
With today’s advanced technology, one of the best sources of energy comes from the sun. When buildings equip their roofs with solar panels, they can maximize natural energy on days with clear skies and even sell excess solar energy back into the power grid. If you have a solar panel installed on top of your hotel, you could seriously reduce your hotel’s energy consumption.
In addition to the tips that can help you save energy, your hotel should be monitored and inspected periodically for energy waste. With the following energy management best practices, you could save a lot of money each year:
Hotels often waste energy due to the simultaneous use of heating and cooling systems. To prevent this from happening, deactivate the heating whenever the temperature reaches 70 F. Also, you can usually set the temperatures in the back of the building to a lower level than the temperatures in the front of the building.
One of the most wasteful energy practices among hotel managers is to overheat an entire hotel building around the clock. This can be especially wasteful in the corridor areas where guests move fleetingly, and even more so in the units where guests can set temperatures to their own personal liking. To save energy, reduce the heat in these areas to between 66 and 70 F, and allow guests to make their own adjustments.
Keep the hot water tank set to around 140 F. At that temperature, guests can enjoy comfortable hot water in the sinks and showers while the building as a whole conserves energy. That temperature setting is also ideal for sanitary reasons. For example, legionella bacteria will not survive in water that hot.
Faucets that pour water unleash more water per second than faucets that spray water. To conserve water throughout your hotel, have the sink and shower faucets in each unit equipped with spray taps. This will also conserve energy because less hot water will flow from the faucets during each use.
Fridges can also be a major source of energy consumption, especially if the settings are so low the contents become frozen. To avoid this problem, defrost the fridges in your hotel regularly. Inspect the seals on fridges and cold rooms and clean out evaporators and condensers periodically. Of course, fridge doors should only be open when items are being taken out or placed inside. Otherwise, the doors on fridges should be closed. Keep the doors on each fridge in your hotel closed as much as possible.
When the time arrives for a new fridge, select a unit with maximum energy efficiency. As you shop around, check the grade on each prospective fridge and only select from A-rate models. If you can find an A++ model, go for that, as you will ultimately save more in terms of energy consumption in the long run.
One cause of energy consumption that often goes unnoticed is the vampire power draw, where connected yet inactive devices still draw power from their energy source. Throughout a hotel, any given unit could have several plugged-in devices in energy-save or standby mode. However, these devices are still consuming energy that can add up significantly every month. One solution to this problem is the automatic shutdown socket, which shuts off energy supplies to inactive devices. The auto-socket works as a smart outlet, detecting when a given device is active or dormant.
In addition to the various smart options for hotel heating, cooling, lighting and power systems, hotels can also save on energy costs with predictive monitoring, which tracks the performance of major systems. With predictive monitoring, each system is tracked for its ongoing performance quality. As equipment incur wear and tear, predictive monitoring notes these changes and alerts you when equipment needs maintenance. This way, you can know in advance when your HVAC or lighting system is showing the warning signs of fatigue.
Predictive monitoring makes it possible to budget for maintenance more effectively because you will know when a system needs to be serviced, thus preventing unexpected and costly breakdowns and system failures.
When it comes to energy conservation, a hotel’s water supply is generally only thought of in terms of how much energy is consumed to heat water in sinks and showers. However, there are more things you can do to reduce the costs that stem from water consumption. For example, leaky faucets and running toilets can be wasteful drains on your water supply. If several toilets are running nonstop throughout your hotel, you could incur hundreds in annual water costs. It is, therefore, crucial to engage in smart water management. Monitor faucets and toilets for issues such as wasteful running and have any problems serviced immediately by a maintenance professional.
Hotel Managers need a trustworthy energy supplier that will partner with them to lower operating costs by creating and executing an impactful energy procurement strategy. We are not always able to change the source of energy, but working with a professional will help you establish the best solution for your current utilities in an effort to make energy costs affordable. A good commercial energy company can help you develop a plan to tackle this initiative.
To make energy conservation practices habit-forming and effective among your staff, you need to have an efficient energy plan. Use the following steps to build your energy plan:
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