When you run a hotel or motel, you spend about 6% of your operating costs on energy each year, so efficiency can pay off quickly. Between guest rooms, lobbies, event facilities, pools, kitchens, laundry, and offices – as well as the fact that you operate 24/7/365 – there are so many opportunities for you to save energy and be more profitable.
The Middlebury Inn is saving about $7,600 per year after upgrading their boilers, hot water systems, and adding pipe insulation.
Heating accounts for almost half of the natural gas that lodging properties use, so it’s a good place to start. Many hotels and motels heat rooms even when they’re empty, despite studies showing that rooms are unoccupied about 12 hours a day.
ALL TOGETHER NOW: Linking your energy management system (EMS), reservation system, and check-out system lets you keep an unsold room ventilated with minimal heating. A sold room can be heated to a comfortable temp an hour before a guest’s arrival. An EMS can enhance guest comfort while reducing heating and cooling costs by 35 to 45 percent.
SEAL IT UP: Air leaks around windows and doors are an easy fix. Seal them with weather stripping and start saving energy immediately.
TUNE IT UP: Changing your air filter every three months and tuning up your HVAC equipment every year will help boost your efficiency and improve your guests’ comfort and air quality.
BE STRATEGIC: When you have low occupancy, try closing down entire wings or floors. Assign your guests to adjoining rooms so one room helps to heat those nearby. And teach your housekeepers to turn down the heat when rooms are unoccupied.
THE RIGHT TEMP: Set domestic hot water systems to 120°F. It’s a good temperature for all hot water uses outside of your kitchen, where codes may require something higher using a booster heater.
REDUCE THE FLOW: Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and kitchen equipment can cut energy, water, and sewer bills by 30%.
LOOP OPTIMIZATION: Adding controls to a domestic hot water loop reduces heat loss by 10-15%. Adding pipe insulation will also help.
EFFICIENT WATER HEATERS: There are several ways to generate hot water while reducing energy use. Condensing units (tanked and tankless) can achieve efficiencies of 95% of more. Commercial heat pump water heaters (gas or electric) are about two to four times more efficient than conventional models and also help cool and dehumidify adjacent spaces.
HEAT RECOVERY: Consider a heat recovery system which takes waste heat from your HVAC equipment, shower drains, and laundry and recovers it to heat water.
ENERGY STAR EQUIPMENT: ENERGY STAR equipment uses 10% to 50% less energy than conventional models. Check out the Foodservice Equipment link below for energy-saving options and current rebate offers.
REDUCE OPERATING TIMES: Reducing the operating time of an idle appliance can cut your cooking related energy consumption by up to 60%. If that’s not convenient, choose equipment that uses less energy when idle. For example, rapid-cook ovens have a low power draw when idle.
KITCHEN EXHAUST HOODS: Most commercial kitchen hoods operate at 100% capacity, even during idle periods, wasting hundreds of dollars of energy every year. You can reduce your costs by installing fan controls that vary the speed based on demand.
When a new or existing building goes through commissioning, engineers will observe its systems and tune things up to ensure equipment is operating at peak efficiency. Studies show that commissioning can save a typical hotel 10%-15% of its energy costs through optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.