Boosting reservations, marketing and enhancing the customer experience are rightfully the platinum trio when it comes to priorities for hospitality businesses. Those are the money-making (and reputation-making) necessities that drive us toward success. But what about the money-saving aspects of our business? Do they deserve our attention, too? Well of course they do. And one of the most basic ways to save money in hospitality is through energy efficiency.
According to ENERGY STAR®, American hotels typically spend an annual average of approximately $2,196 per room on energy, which equals out to about six percent of the total operating costs. That adds up significantly and doesn’t even touch the energy and water usage for kitchens, common areas and more. But never fear! There are a number of ways to save on those resources without sacrificing the comfort of your guests or staff — and at the end of the year, you’ll likely see a noticeable savings. Sound good?
Take a look at some of easiest methods to save energy at your property.
1. Adjust Thermostat Settings
In office/administrative areas, set temperatures to 68°F (20°C) in winter and 78°F (25.5°C) in summer whenever possible. Also, train housekeeping staff to reset guest room thermostats to those temperatures after occupants check out. In cooler outdoor temperatures, you can also take advantage of natural heating opportunities by opening shades and allowing sunlight to do its job.
2. Upgrade Lighting
If your property still uses traditional lighting methods (i.e. Incandescent or fluorescent), consider upgrading to light emitting dioxide (LED) or compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) systems throughout, including LED exit signs. Both LEDs and CFLs use up to 80% less energy than regular lights and can last up to 25 times longer. If you receive enough natural light in hallways, you may also want to add dimmable lights in those areas, giving you the freedom to lower them during daylight hours without risking visibility.
3. Turn Lights Off When Not In Use
It seems like common sense but it’s incredible how often this simple action is ignored. Remind your staff to follow suit, and when it comes to guests, gently encourage them to do the same. That can easily be accomplished by hanging friendly placards near light switches in guest rooms and other areas stating — “Please Turn Lights Off When You Leave.” It’s a small gesture but it works.
4. Install Occupancy Sensors
If you have low-traffic areas on your property, mull over the occupancy sensor route. Installing this handy technology for room lighting, vending machines, HVAC and more can make a big difference. They work by detecting when someone enters the area or leaves it, and respond accordingly by dimming down lights or reducing motor speed.
5. Explore Swimming Pool Efficiency
If you have a swimming pool on your property, you already know it takes a lot of energy to keep it clean, temperature-controlled and pristine for your guests. To cut back on costs, consider a few improvements. First, cover the pool(s) when not in use to avoid heat loss — a major form of energy waste. Second, use LED pool and spa lights for the obvious reasons (they’re so much more efficient!). And third, think about switching from a one-speed pool pump to an energy-efficient commercial variable-speed pool pump.
6. Recommission Your Property
When properties first open, they’re commissioned to ensure everything is operating properly and at optimal efficiency. Over time though, systems can become less efficient and productive, costing you money on wasted energy. That’s why recommissioning every few years is important. In short, licensed engineers examine your facility closely and fine-tune the areas where there may be problems. It’s the best way to ensure your property is in peak condition, giving you peace of mind and potentially saving you money.
What steps have you taken to make your property more energy efficient? Share your stories with us!