How hospitality establishments can save the planet while saving on energy costs

As the trend in “going green” continues to rise, and customers become more environmentally aware and conscious, energy efficiency shifts from being a nice-to-have to a necessity. When choosing where to stay, potential guests are starting to take the hotel’s carbon footprint and sustainability efforts into account and will often opt for a hotel that displays a tendency towards being environmentally friendly.

No longer just a trend, it is becoming increasingly important for hotels, and the hospitality sector in general, to implement energy efficient practices. In doing so, the establishment will not only reduce operational costs but also their carbon footprint. It is estimated that energy costs amount to 5-8% of overall operational costs, and while this number might seem low or insignificant, the truth is that energy is often the second highest controllable portion of costs after labour. Energy efficient practices can provide energy savings of 20-35%, which over time can make a big impact on the bottom line.

 “It is estimated that energy costs amount to 5-8% of overall operational costs… Energy efficient practices can provide [hotel’s with] energy savings of 20-35% which over time can make a big impact on the bottom line.”

Not all hotels use the same amount of energy. Energy use varies across different hotels and is affected by:

  • Hotel size – more energy is required to power larger buildings.
  • Class/category – more energy is required for a luxury hotel compared to an economy one.
  • Number of rooms – in terms of the amount of energy needed per room.
  • Customer profile – business versus leisure guests. Guests visiting on holiday will spend more time at the hotel on average, and therefore consume more energy.
  • Location – rural/remote versus urban.
  • Climate – impacts the use of air conditioning and heating.
  • The number of services, facilities and amenities on offer. 

5 Ways hotels and resorts can reduce energy consumption

There are a variety of ways hotels and resorts can implement energy saving practices and reduce their energy bills.

  1. Automating shut down procedures for heating and cooling systems and lighting when they are not in use.
  2. Energy Monitoring. Improve management and control by centralising heating and cooling systems. Implement a reporting system where energy usage is reported on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
  3. Motors, pumps and appliances. Using modern technology such as drive pumps and repairing faulty appliances.
  4. Upgrading lights with new technology compatible with legacy systems and switching to low energy bulbs.
  5. Purchasing of new equipment. Ensure that any new equipment purchased is specified with energy efficiency in mind.

Case Study: Energy efficiency at the Beannchor Group in Ireland

The Beannchor Group has started implementing energy efficient practices across their hospitality establishments in various ways. Their electricity is 100% renewable electricity generated from wind farms around Northern Ireland, and they have just extended their contract for a second year. They are also in the second phase of ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) which is part of article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Amongst other things, this directive requires them to identify total energy consumption, and carry out audits to identify energy saving opportunities. All food waste goes through an anaerobic digestion process instead of rotting in landfills. This process captures gas, which is then used to power electricity generators, homes, businesses etc.

The Beannchor Group have also set up an in-house sustainability awareness team which sends out monthly reports on gas and electricity usage to all staff to increase awareness on energy usage and look at ways to help reduce energy consumption. Lighting across all sites is being upgraded to be energy efficient, and energy efficiency is being taken into consideration when purchasing new equipment. More recently Beannchor has also conducted a water efficiency audit to help reduce water usage and wastage.

In addition to being environmentally aware, Beannchor group is also focussing on social awareness and obligations by hiring refugees, thus assisting them with social and economic integration. The Beannchor group works in close collaboration with Maximpact in providing job opportunities to Maximpact’s Fast Track to Employment and Social Integration programme participants.

How Maximpact can assist with improving energy efficiency

Maximpact offers a variety of services to hotels and hospitality establishments across the UK and Ireland to assist in facilitating them to become more energy efficient and reduce their energy bills. These services include:

  1. Comprehensive energy audits. This includes the building’s heating and cooling systems, lighting systems, an IT equipment survey and much more. The comprehensive energy audit will provide a detailed specification of services on offer and saving potential, which is typically between 20% and 40% of the existing energy bills.
  2. New equipment energy efficiency specification. Considering purchasing new equipment? Maximpact can help ensure that vendors provide energy efficient equipment that will help save on running cost over its lifetime and help to include energy efficiency specification into tender documents.
  3. Thermal imaging study. Conduct a thermal imaging study of the hotel buildings, leisure and pool area to detect building heat losses associated with poor insulation or building defects.
  4. Feasibility study of installing an intelligent energy management system. Provide a study on the potential of installing an intelligent building energy management system that will enable the hotel’s management to account for energy usage in the various areas and that is used by the hotel’s staff and guests.
  5. Renewable energy feasibility studies for hotels. Feasibility studies for the use of solar power, geothermal energy and/or generator systems.

If you are looking to reduce your energy bills, contact Maximpact for more details or to speak to one of our specialists in this area.

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