Energy Efficiency for the Hotel Sector, More than a passing Fad

The subject of Energy Efficiency for the Hotel Sector is now much more than a passing Fad. While Today it maybe politically correct to talk about Energy Efficiency, in reality it is as crucial to the  business structure of the industry, as it is to the wider Environment that we all inhabit.  Energy consumption for Hotels is the second largest cost line after staffing, so reducing energy consumption will have a direct affect on profitability as well as reducing the Hotels carbon footprint and appealing to sustainability aware guests. Hotels can also set an example to guests to be as energy and resource conscious in their own homes and workplaces.

Focusing on Hotel’s viewpoint, it is likely that the  management  may be concerned with the initial investment cost in energy efficiency projects and the pay back time frame. However,  when one realises that just the production of hot water for bathrooms makes up 23.6% of energy consumption  followed by 18.7% for refrigeration costs and 18.3% in heating costs for European Hotels according to a study financed by the European Union, then one can take steps to address these individual cost lines.

These energy costs are obviously affected by occupancy rates, the Hotels level of service, its location and climate conditions as well as the behaviour of its guest: who of course can be gently educated into assisting with Energy conservation.

Energy efficiency can be delivered in two ways (1) by replacing old inefficient equipment or systems with new ones that consume lower amounts of energy, or (2) by optimising existing ones (making them intelligent).  This is where Quimera Energy Efficiency implements a strategy to transform the energy installations in hotels into smart buildings through the use of IoT technology, and in this way, reduce energy costs. From heating or air conditioning (whether in rooms or communal areas), to kitchen or laundry routines, and even the working of the lifts- all contribute to the energy cost. Therefore, all these items should be measured, analysed, controlled and optimised through understanding their data technology. Once this data has been analysed, we can take decisions and implement actions with the objective of reducing the energy consumption, the carbon footprint and utility bills.

It is important to note that not all actions related to Energy Efficiency programs need to imply large investments. Each day, more hotel rooms display information about the importance of appropriate use of energy resources and link this to requests such as not replacing towels each day, not opening the doors to the balcony if the air conditioning is on, or in some cases, even attempting to dissuade clients from using the bathtub.

Successful Energy Efficiency programs can have a positive effect on the Hotel or Brands image. There is an increasing number of guests who are concerned about energy efficiency and who may also factor in a Hotels environmental credentials when choosing their accommodation.  In fact, according to data from The Cocktail Analysis study (2015) on tourism and online efficiency, 17% of internet users would be prepared to pay ten euros more to book into a hotel offering a sustainable stay.

In summary, deploying an Energy Efficiency program in hotels can clearly lead to a potential increase in revenues as well as a reduction in costs. But the challenge still exists for the industry: according to an International Energy Agency study, energy consumption in the residential sector is responsible for 20% of carbon dioxide emissions on a global level. But this can be addressed by adopting Energy Efficiency programs that will reduce consumption, reduce carbon emissions and cut utility bills saving millions of Euros across the sector and releasing funds to invest in guests comfort and / or return to shareholders while creating a more sustainable environment for us all… ensuring that this conversation translates to action and becomes a corner stone for the development of the Hotel Industry for a more sustainable future.

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