The efficacy of energy-efficiency solutions becomes increasingly clearer to the hospitality industry year after year. In fact, some of the most recognized hotel and resort brands are making increasingly more green decisions and taking the lead to implement best energy-efficiency practices throughout their properties.
There are many green measures a hotel property can implement – from LED lighting to intelligent energy controls and smart pumping systems and efficient water management. In this article, we’ll take a look at smart energy controls and the opportunities for cost savings in heating and ventilation.
The first thing hotel management needs to do is have an effective training program in place to educate the staff on best energy-efficiency practices. Changing staff behavior and attitudes is important in adopting energy efficiencies at a hotel property. Secondly, it’s important that any energy efficiency solution, such as smart HVAC controls, does not have a negative impact on the daily life of a busy hotel, either during installation or afterwards. There should be no adverse effect on guest satisfaction.
Equally important is that any proposed energy efficiency solution is based on sound business logic with a clear idea of timing for return on investment and a way to measure and monitor the solutions implemented. Hotel management should be able to measure accurately and understand current consumption rates, identifying immediate benefits and prioritizing investment decisions.
For example, many hotel properties focus on the HVAC in hotel rooms since guests spend so little time in them. In fact, some research indicates that hotel guest rooms are often empty for up to 46% of any 24-hour guest stay. With smart and effective guest room controls through a combination of sensors that detects whether a guest is in their room or not, the property can control the temperature of the room. When a guest is in the room, he or she must have control of the system, including the existing thermostat. When not in the room, the system can switch to a money-saving, energy-saving mode after a suitable period – usually 30 minutes.
To minimize disruption and loss of business, the smart controls need to be based on the best wireless technology that connect the micro sensors, as this avoids the need for complex cabling so ensuring that installation is very quick – equivalent to the room being cleaned – which means that rooms do not have to be taken out of service.
Any smart controls system should also be thoroughly tested first and would need to have the capability of monitoring accurately the property’s HVAC units, providing detailed a wealth of data and reports on energy usage and the cost savings garnered.
Fulcrum Insurance Programs is committed to helping the hospitality industry in their green efforts, supported by their partnership with AGPOM. Fulcrum offers key benefits to AGPOM Members, including insurance premium discounts. For more information, please feel free to call 425-453-5157 or visit www.fulcrumprograms.com.
AGPOM provides a Green Property Behavioral Plan specifically designed for hotels and resorts to help their staff see the benefits of green practices. For additional Green Hotel resources and articles check out AGPOM’s Resource Page.