Energy costs can eat up as much as 10 percent of a hotel's revenue.1 What accounts for most of your energy bill? Keeping rooms at a comfortable temperature, showers hot, and rooms and corridors well lit—all essentials for making guests happy.

Energy conservation provides a way for your hotel to save energy and money without compromising the comfort of your guests. There are several low-cost or no-cost steps you can take right away. And if you take on larger energy saving projects—like installing alternative energyyou can lower your energy bill even more.

Below are nine tips to help you save energy and cut costs without sacrificing the comfort of your guests.


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Train housekeeping staff to be energy savvy
Housekeepers should reset thermostats to minimum levels in winter and summer. Alternatively, many hotel systems can be rewired to allow the front desk to control guest room HVAC systems. Make sure staff turns off lights in unoccupied rooms. Closing drapes when a room is unoccupied will reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter.


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Lower the water temperature
For hand washing and showering, 110 degrees is the recommended setting.2 Set your laundry hot water to 120 degrees. Commercial kitchen water temperature is set by municipal building codes.


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Place energy gatekeepers at the front desk
Train desk staff to watch the thermostat and keep public areas and offices at 68 degrees during business hours. Staff can lower the temperature a few degrees when the hotel quiets down at night. Keep in mind that for each degree you raise the thermostat in the summer and lower it in the winter, you can save 2 to 3 percent on cooling and heating costs.3

Also, teach registration staff to book rooms in clusters so that only occupied building areas or wings need to be heated or cooled to normal comfort levels. Rooms on top floors, at building corners, and facing west (in summer) or north (in winter) can be the most energy-intensive, so consider booking them last.4


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Choose energy-efficient vending machines
Vending machines can drive up your energy bills because they run at the same temperature and lighting level 24/7. The energy costs for some refrigerated vending machines can reach $440 per year.4 The good news is that new technologies can turn off lighting when no one is nearby and adjust refrigeration in response to ambient temperatures.5 Newer machines tend to be more efficient and can cut electricity use by up to 50 percent.6


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Brighten up efficiently
Natural light often creates a more pleasant room, so take advantage of skylights and windows. Dim artificial light by about 30 percent where natural light exists. Put staff in charge of shutting off unneeded lights in hotel offices and public areas.

Check your exit signs. Do they use light emitting diodes (LEDs)? If not, you might be due for an upgrade. An LED exit sign uses about two watts or less, compared to up to 40 watts for an incandescent exit sign.6

When your fluorescent lamps start to flicker, replace the old T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts with energy-efficient T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts. This can lower your lighting energy use by up to 25 percent.7

Use LED or compact fluorescent lamps to replace incandescent lamps in offices and guest rooms, which offers potential savings of up to $20 per lamp per year in energy costs.8

Finally, because guests often leave lights on in bathrooms overnight, install nightlights or a nighttime feature that operates bathroom fixtures to reduce light output.


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Make technology do the work
Natural light often creates a more pleasant room, so take advantage of skylights and windows. Dim artificial light by about 30 percent where natural light exists. Put staff in charge of shutting off unneeded lights in hotel offices and public areas.

  • Indoor pool heat pumps will efficiently heat water and also produce cool air, which can lower the pool room temperature and humidity at a lower cost than conventional systems.
  • Graywater heat-recovery equipment in guest room showers can save on water-heating energy.
  • Intelligent, variable-speed hood controller systems in commercial kitchens can significantly reduce energy costs.11
  • Hotels can obtain "free" hot water from their cooling and refrigeration equipment by using double-bundled heat exchangers in the chillers or a plate heat exchanger in the condenser-cooling loop.
  • Ozone laundering systems, which use cold water, require far less water, energy and detergent than standard systems. Ozone systems have a 20-year projected life span and can reach payback in 1 to 2 years.12


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Install occupancy sensors
Have you ever received a guest complaint about housekeeping knocking on the door to check if the room is empty? You can increase customer satisfaction while reducing lighting and HVAC costs by installing occupancy sensors that signal when a room is unoccupied. These sensors work as either fixed or handheld devices.

For hallways, fixtures with occupancy sensors can automatically adjust lighting levels based on foot traffic.


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Install combined heat and power
Hotels also can reduce their utility bills by installing onsite energy. Hotels are excellent candidates for combined heat and power (CHP), in particular. Installed near or within the hotel, CHP is highly efficient because it creates two forms of energy—electricity and heat—from one fuel. CHP plants achieve this efficiency by recycling the wasted heat generated during the production of electricity. Hotels install CHP because they have a large need for heat and steam to warm rooms, do laundry, operate showers and sterilize equipment.13 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains a website for hotel and other building owners to help determine if your facility is a good candidate for a CHP project.


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Monitor your building energy systems through "recommissioning."
During recommissioning, engineers gauge the performance of a building's energy systems, and then rework them to improve efficiency. The process typically costs between 5 cents per square foot and 40 cents per square foot.14 When you engage in recommissioning to continually monitor your building’s performance, you can cut up to 10 to 15 percent or more in annual energy bills, or about $19,500 in savings per year for a typical hotel.15 Your savings result from resetting existing controls to reduce HVAC waste.16

The hotel market is very aggressive, and the competition to fill rooms is fierce. Using new energy-conservation technologies will not only save you money, but also can give you an edge. Your energy-saving efforts signal to guests that you’re a responsible corporate citizen, so they can feel good about patronizing your establishment.

Becoming an energy-saving hotel doesn't have to be a complex task, especially if you work with an experienced supplier that offers diverse, customized supply- and demand-side energy solutions. Direct Energy Business can help you buy less of what we sell, offering a Total Energy Management approach to lowering energy costs with data and analytics, energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions, including:



Let our Advisory Services team help you make the best decisions for your business.
See how we can help you buy less of what we sell.

Download our free Strategic Services guide now




1. National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 1, retrieved February 2016
2.Hotel Business Review, Ten Quick Ways to Improve Your Hotel's Energy Efficiency,” February 2016
3.Ibid.
4.National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 2, retrieved February 2016
5.National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 4, retrieved February 2016
6.Ibid.
7.Hotel Business Review, Ten Quick Ways to Improve Your Hotel's Energy Efficiency,” February 2016
8.Ibid.
9.Ibid.
10.National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 2, retrieved February 2016
11.National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 3, retrieved February 2016
12.Ibid.
13.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Combined Heat and Power: An Energy Efficient Choice for Mid-Size to Large Hotels, March 19, 2008, page 3
14.National Grid, Managing Energy Costs in Full-Service Hotels, page 2, retrieved February 2016
15.Ibid.
16.Ibid. 


Coffe

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