November 4, 2022
How is Energy Used in Hotels?
Hotels use a lot of energy to operate effectively. However, high energy consumption has become a major concern for stakeholders because it comes with negative sustainability impacts. To make your hotel more sustainable or green, it is crucial to adopt smart solutions that help to keep energy consumption low without compromising the comfort of guests. Keep reading to learn how energy is used in hotels and the best methods you can use to improve efficiency, cut down the bill, and become more sustainable.
Energy Use in Different Areas and Facilities of a Hotel
Almost every aspect of a hotel, from the kitchen to guest rooms, uses energy with the aim of ensuring visitors get the best experience. Whether you have only one guest or the entire facility is booked, no effort is spared to make the experience outstanding. A single hotel room has a yearly energy bill of about USD 1,380, which is about double the average home usage. Here is a breakdown of the energy consumption for a hotel (according to Energy Star and for the period 2019).
- Cooling: 27%
- Ventilation: 7%
- Lighting 23%
- Office equipment: 7%
- Refrigeration: 6%
- Water heating: 5%
- Cooking: 2%
- Other: 13%
Note that these numbers are for 2019 (a year before COVID-19) which implies that the numbers might look lower when compared to 2020 and 2021. Indeed, COVID-19 increased the cost of HVAC significantly as hotels adopted new systems to improve air quality and reduce the risk of spreading infections.
In addition to the above statistics, you should also consider checking the energy use per area or section of the hotel. This means that you factor in all the appliances in that room to determine the energy use. For example, what is the average energy use in a Gym?
To determine energy use in the gym, you have to add the individual energy use of treadmills, air conditioning, and lighting. Also, you need to factor in the energy rating of the different appliances. A standard gym with ten treadmills (running for 5 hours), about 15 LED panels (on for 15 hours), and a standard HVAC system (on for 10 hours) will consume about 109 kWh of electricity every day.
You have to repeat the same procedure for every part of the hotel. In the kitchen, you should factor in lighting, air conditioning, and energy consumption by all the appliances (from the refrigerator to grills). Then, calculate for the guest rooms, the restaurant, conference rooms, bar, and outdoor facilities.
The Best Solutions for Cutting Down Energy Consumption in Hotels
The energy consumption in a hotel takes about 6% of the total expenses. Therefore, cutting down energy use could significantly grow your profits. It is also an important move for pushing down greenhouse gases (GHG) and improving the hotel's ESG rating. This might be one of the things you need to attract more clients and grow the company's profits.
Shift to Solar Energy
One of the most recommended methods of keeping energy consumption and associated costs low is shifting to solar energy. Using solar panels, you generate your own electricity, which gives you total control over the energy bills. If you are unable to shift the entire hotel power needs to solar, a portion of it would also come in handy in reducing energy consumption.
Although the short-term costs of using solar panels might appear high because of the initial investment-related costs, they will be almost negligible in the long term. You can also enjoy tax incentives and win more eco-conscious visitors.
Shift to Energy-Saving LED Lamps
If the lighting system of your hotel uses traditional incandescent lamps, know that they are part of the main causes of the rising energy use. Not only that it consumes more energy, it also significantly raise the room temperature resulting to AC units working harder to cool the hotel room. Therefore, you can cut down the energy use significantly by shifting to more energy-efficient LED lamps. These fixtures can be up to 75% more energy efficient compared to incandescent lamps. However, this is not the only reason why you should shift to LED lighting. Other benefits of using LED in lighting guest rooms, corridors, and outdoors are:
- The lighting fixtures are longer lasting compared to incandescent lamps.
- They produce higher-quality light.
Use Predictive Maintenance for All Your Hotel Facilities
Even after installing the best lighting fixtures, buying energy-efficient refrigerators, and installing top-rated grills, their efficiency can decline over time. If you adopt a reactive maintenance model (repairing the appliances only when broken), the chances are that their efficiencies will have declined so much and caused energy use to swell. Instead, you should go for predictive maintenance.
Predictive maintenance involves following the performance of each appliance to note when the efficiency starts declining. For example, if you notice the air conditioning system of the hotel has pushed the energy use by a few units in the last few months, it implies there is something wrong. Therefore, it is time to carry out maintenance and repairs.
Use Smart Lighting Energy Technologies
In a hotel, lighting takes about 23% of the energy costs. To reduce energy use through on lighting, you should consider adopting smart lighting technology. These solutions employ a range of sensors and advanced algorithms that help to note when rooms are not occupied and switch off the lamps. For example, the lamps in the washroom do not have to stay on all the time. Instead, the system notes when someone is entering the washroom and switches the lamps on.
The smart lighting solutions also work for corridors, outdoor lamps, kitchen and other areas. You might want to link the lighting and HVAC smart systems for better control. This means that you can cut down all the costs that could have otherwise been incurred because a guest or staff forgot to turn off the HVAC or lamp.
Train Staff on Energy Consumption
When it comes to sustainability and energy consumption in hotels, you cannot achieve results without involving employees. Because they are directly involved with implementing sustainability policies, training equips them with crucial skills needed to make the sustainability goals successful. To get more from your hotel staff when targeting to reduce energy consumption, make sure to do the following:
- Make the training part of the organisation's culture.
- Use the training as part of HR development efforts.
- Link sustainability training with other aspects, such as promotion and salary raise.
- Work with internationally accredited organisations, such as Climate Fresk, UN, and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), to ensure your efforts are appreciated.
Shift to Commercial Heat Water Heaters
When guests visit your hotel, one of the expectations is hot water running from the showers. As a result, hotels use up to 1/3 of the energy bill on water heating. Instead of using traditional water heaters, consider shifting to commercial heat pump water heaters, which can be up to 2-4 times more efficient.
When installing the new and more efficient water heaters, it will be a good idea to do an economic analysis because they are pretty expensive. However, you can enjoy up to 50% savings on water-heating-related costs in the long term.
Repair Leaking Water Lines in Your Hotels
A lot of plumbing work is involved to ensure that water is effectively supplied to the kitchen, guest rooms, faucets, and other areas. To move this water requires regular pumping. If there are leaking sections or areas, the pump will work harder to cater to the lost pressure. Therefore, make sure the plumbing lines are checked regularly to detect leaking areas and have them fixed.
You should also check for water pressure to ensure the pipes are not clogged. If you expand the hotel or a section of it, ensure the piping system is reviewed to ensure the pump is not overworking and using unnecessarily high amounts of energy.
Use CONTINEWM to Cut Down Energy Use in the HVAC System
Another highly effective method of reducing energy use in hotels is installing CONTINEWM on the HVAC. As your hotel's HVAC system works, the moving parts generate static charges because of friction caused by the moving air. These positive charges create resistance to airflow, making the HVAC system work harder to cool/heat the rooms.
CONTINEWM progressively generates negative charges and reduces the creation of positive charges. As a result, there is a smooth flow of air through the HVAC system, which reduces the overall work it needs to do to cool/heat your hotel rooms. This is the reason why CONTINEWN can reduce an average of up to 25% of the AC bill. The device can easily be installed on the front part of the heat exchanger in minutes. Other benefits of CONTINEWM that make it one of the best choices for cutting down energy use are:
- It is inexpensive.
- It is safe, sustainable and easy-to-implement.
- Requires very little maintenance.
- It also helps to eliminate odours to help improve air quality.
This post has demonstrated that almost every section of a hotel contributes to high energy consumption. Therefore, you need to have a good plan to be able to pull the cost down significantly. The expert tips we have listed in this post, from the use of CONTINEWM to smart lighting solutions, can help you reduce not only the energy consumption in your hotel but also improve its sustainability rating. Remember that your efforts should be reviewed regularly to ensure the goals are achieved.