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greening your lodging - energy management

Money Saving Tips - Energy Management
Reprinted with permission from

  • During low occupancy periods, place guests in closely-located guestrooms.

  • Install energy management systems in guestrooms, meeting rooms and other public spaces.

  • Hire an energy expert to conduct an audit of your hotel.

  • Ask your energy providers or local government if they offer any type of incentive program for implementing energy-efficient equipment or processes.

  • Improperly maintained air handlers can waste up to 32 percent of the energy they consume. Check HVAC controls for proper calibration.

  • Check all duct work for air leaks and repair where appropriate. Air ducts should be cleaned monthly.

  • Check all electrical systems for loose connections or poor motor conditions. Without proper preventive maintenance, these systems typically generate a 5 to 10 percent energy loss.

  • Purchase renewable energy from your local utility.

  • Shut down office equipment such as photocopiers and computer monitors when not in use.

  • Explore the purchase of a fuel cell power generator.

  • Install energy misers on vending machines.

  • Install thermal-glass windows.

  • In hotels with whirlpools in use, keep the aerator on only when needed.

  • Furnaces and boilers should be completely inspected by a professional mechanical contractor at least once or twice a year.

  • Electric meters should be submetered to make it easy to identify the largest electricity users at the hotel and to recognize problem areas. Set targets for energy consumption per meter.

  • In swimming pools, remove foreign material from the strainer baskets in the skimmer and pump regularly to maximize water recirculation.

  • Operate your pool pump during off peak hours.

  • Implement an employee awareness program and encourage them to report energy waste to managers, maintenance or engineering personnel.

  • During the winter, ceiling fans should be set to draw air toward the ceiling.

  • Shut down one or more of your elevators during periods of light traffic.

  • Program your elevator to remain stationary on the exiting floor rather than returning to the main floor.

  • Encourage staff to use stairs when moving between one to two floors when not carrying loads.

  • Install draperies with thermal reflective liners.

  • Use light-colored reflective surface on roofs.

  • Tint windows that receive direct sun.

  • Assign someone to monitor energy consumption on a consistent basis.

  • Implement a comprehensive preventive maintenance program to monitor all potential areas of energy consumption.

  • Turn off coffee makers, hair dryers and other appliances or personal electronics while guestrooms are unoccupied.

  • Put together a written energy management plan. Key components should include energy forecasting and procurement, facility audits, financial analysis, integrated building upgrades, equipment purchasing, new construction and preventive maintenance.

  • Use adequate amount of insulation in ceilings, exterior and basement walls, flooring and crawl spaces.

  • Use solar panels to generate electricity.

  • Purchase minibars that use LED lighting and that incorporate energy-efficient cooling systems.

  • Metal tile panel roofing systems can help reduce energy costs. Also consider green roof systems that incorporate soil and plants.

  • Watch for scale build-up in boilers, hot water heaters, cooling towers, humidifiers, washing machines, dishwashers, and shower heads. Hard water that leaves scale build-up results in more energy consumed. Water conditioning can address scale issues.

  • Contract with an energy monitoring and reporting service to track utility costs and interpret billing trends.

  • Beware of energy vultures: plugged in appliances, radios, clocks and other items that are on around the clock.

  • Be cautious of energy remarketers when planning your energy purchasing strategy. Locking in rates can actually eliminate incentives to save energy.

  • Participate in as many Energy Star programs as possible.

  • Purchase computer products that meet the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standard. They meet the Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency.

  • Purchase hand dryers with automatic sensor controls.

  • Train housekeepers to turn off lighting and heating and cooling equipment when not needed. Provide bilingual instructions. Spanish-speaking employees typically think in terms of Centigrade, rather than Fahrenheit. This can cause difficulty for them in setting thermostats to the proper temperature. Issuing each room attendant a simple placard with a sketch showing a typical guestroom thermostat setting can easily resolve this problem.

  • Weather stripping on outside entrances typically lasts less than two years. Placing a brush-type of weather stripping that does not affect the operation of the door and that provides a good seal from the outside cold weather will pay handsome dividends.

Reprinted with permission from

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