June 1, 2022

How Can Hotels Save Resources and Energy Consumption?

Running a hotel is no doubt among the most demanding commercial activities. From meeting the expectations of guests to ensuring every amenity is operating optimally, cost control is critical in this highly sensitive industry. In most facilities, about 6-10% of the cost is likely to go into recurrent energy expenses. However, we have come to a point where using the best sustainable practice is now the bottom line for business operations in different industries.

Brice Degeyter
Brice Degeyter
Bizsu founder
Hotel energy and electricity consumption

All stakeholders want to see hotels, manufacturers, institutions and every other facility embracing sustainability as a way of saving the planet from global warming. Fortunately, hotel owners have multiple methods that they can use to become more energy-efficient and embrace sustainability foregoing the comfort of guests and brand experience. Let’s look at some of these ways, but first, the numbers and facts. 

Eye-Opening Statistics on Hotel Energy Use 

In a hotel, everything, starting with the obvious (lighting on 24/7) to the hidden (heat escaping from the pool), can add up to huge energy bills and reduced profit. As a reference point, the monthly bill (average) for residential customers in the United States was USD 115 per month. This means that a single hotel room's energy cost is almost double that of an average home.

So, where exactly does all the energy go? According to a report from Energy Star, here is the breakdown:

  • Cooling: 27%
  • Lighting: 23%
  • Space heating: 11%
  • Ventilation: 7%
  • Office equipment: 7%
  • Refrigeration: 6%
  • Water heating: 5%
  • Cooking: 2%
  • Others: 12%

NOTE: These statistics were taken before COVID-19, and they are likely to be different now, edging up because of the demand to operate indoors, which in return requires more heating and cooling in hotels. 

Smart Solutions to Help You Save Resources and Energy 

There is no time like now for hotels to start enjoying the benefits of saving resources and energy. So, here are some tested and proven strategies that you should consider for your hotel: 

Install and Use Smart Climate Control Systems

Almost every hotel uses a sort of climate control system, mainly in the form of heating or air conditioning with dedicated HVAC systems. Machine learning and the Internet of Things have come in handy to help push energy consumption and related costs low. From the application of smart sensors to thermostats that allow users to correctly program energy consumption; there is no shortage of tools you can adopt for your sustainable practice.  

Hotels, which use random occupancy patterns, are opting for smart energy management systems to optimize energy savings. The systems utilize advanced machine learning algorithms and data sets, such as peak demand loads and shifts in weather patterns to optimize energy consumption in real-time.

Of course, another smart climate control and practical solution is Continewm, to help reduce net energy consumption. It is a natural ceramic net compatible with any type of AC unit which improves the net indoor air quality and even temperature distribution. Along with being a practical system, it also comes with no maintenance and operating costs and guaranteed 25% savings on overall electricity bills. Continewm is probably the best energy-saving solution on the market today. It results in the desired temperature at a faster rate and a more homogenous distribution of water in the air volume. Feel free to read more about Continewm in detail: https://bizsu.co/continewm-ac-net

The lovely thing about smart control systems is that you can use them all year round and the algorithms installed in their chips make them automatically adjust to changing weather patterns.

Utilize Automatic Shutdown Sockets 

A significant portion of the energy cost for hotels is the vampire power drain. Also known as standby power, the drain refers to the energy consumed when equipment is left in standby mode. This is where automated shutdown systems come into play. 

Automatic shutdown sockets use infrared sensors to cut power to devices that are not in use or when the room is unoccupied. Therefore, you are sure of avoiding issues such as forgetting to turn off the power or the need to physically check every room or facility manually. If there is a specific facility that needs to keep running for a longer period, the automatic shutdown sockets can be programmed for customized operations. 

Install and Use Air Source Heat Pumps 

Smart thermostats are not the only options for hotels to save heating and energy costs. Now, advances in HVAC technology are providing businesses with new opportunities for saving more energy. One of the most notable options is air source heat pumps that make it possible to transfer heat from outside hotel buildings to the inside and vice versa. 

So, how do air source heat pumps work? The science behind the technology is similar to the principles applied in a refrigerator: air compression to absorb heat from one point and release it in another. In a hotel, the heat pumps can be used to heat or cool space by eliminating the need for overloading the central HVAC system while ensuring the requirements of compartments or smaller spaces are catered to.

Adopt and Implement Smart Lighting Technology

When you decide to adopt a sustainable practice and responsible operations in a hotel, using the smart energy-management system is not limited to air conditioning. In addition, it can be used to help hotels understand what their energy needs are, automate consumption, and shift to real-time changes in hotel occupancy. You can manage to pull down the energy costs for the hotel and improve productivity with a huge margin by using a smart lighting system. 

Smart lighting systems are based on real-time hotel needs. The system uses hotel data to understand the lighting needs for different times and activities. If a room is not occupied or a specific section is not in use, the smart lighting system will turn off the lights.

Smart lighting systems and smart climate control systems work together and can be integrated with the hotel management system for monitoring, updates, and control. 

Adopt Solar Technology

The rising economic superpowers are not the only ones taking advantage of solar technology. Hotels of different sizes are also adopting advanced photovoltaic technology as part of their sustainability efforts to keep the cost of electricity low. 

Apart from acting as a major source of energy, which can help to cut down energy bills, using solar technology also offers your hotel the opportunity to generate more and sell the excess to the grid. If you have ample space to install the panels, take advantage of it and make additional revenue. 

Switch to LED Lamps 

When considering the preferred models of lamps to use in your hotel, there is a list of infinite options on the market, right? So, what is the best for your hotel? Some of the perfect picks are the LED (light-emitting diode) lamp fixture. 

Incandescent lamps (the traditional types of bulbs) are the worst because of their high energy consumption, but it is not uncommon to get some hotels still using them. They consume a lot of electricity, with 80-90% of it getting converted to heat and the rest light. Instead of using incandescent lamps, hotels should opt for  LED lamps.

LED lamps use 75% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs. This is why more hotels are adopting them as part of their sustainability practice options. Apart from cutting down energy use, LED bulbs will: 

  • Produce higher quality light, which is crucial for a better customer experience. 
  • Last longer, implying that you do not require replacing or repairing them regularly. 

Predictive Maintenance 

Like other types of machinery, your hotel’s HVAC, boilers, pumps, and heaters are likely to gallop a lot of power when faulty. For example, if the HVAC system is malfunctioning, its sensors are unlikely to respond to anomalies, making it take longer to close or overwork. Ultimately, this will translate into higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your hotel equipment. 

Predictive maintenance means that your hotel system is reviewed regularly using a network of sensors and direct inspection so that issues are noted early enough. Then, they are rectified promptly to ensure that the machinery, equipment, and system are operating optimally, using less energy and delivering maximum value to investors. 

Train Staff on Sustainability and Energy Conservation

When you set off on the path to reduce energy consumption and resource conservation, it is important to include staff. No matter the policy that you adopt for sustainability, the chances are that it will not work if your employees are not engaged. For example, if you opt to install an automated smart lighting system with machine learning, not engaging staff could result in resistance. Ultimately, it will be impossible to correctly apply the new technology. 

Training staff on hotel sustainability makes them feel valued and part of the initiative. The training helps them to see the bigger picture in the sustainable practices adopted by the hotel, allowing it to focus on the long-term goals. Some of them will even come in to make new suggestions for saving resources. 

The Climate Fresk is an IPCC-based workshop and is a great way to engage your team on climate change through collaborative play-based activities. Within three hours, participants learn how to clearly communicate the causes, consequences, and complexities of climate change. This effective platform is one of the best and fastest ways to understand the big picture and the main idea of climate change. Check out this link to book a workshop for your team: https://bizsu.co/sustainability-workshops 

Staff development on energy matters helps to disseminate knowledge, which will make it easy for employees to identify opportunities for resource conservation and saving power. For example, your staff will find value in turning off the equipment, such as computers and scanners, when not in use. With time, this will become part of the organizational culture and reducing the bill on energy will be easy and seamless.