Owning and operating a lodging business, whether it’s a hotel, a B&B, a motel or a guesthouse, is a challenging task, especially when you consider the costs involved. As these facilities usually operate 24 hours a day, energy management and efficiency can become quite a difficult job. The lodging business usually involves more than just one building, provides various services, manages a large number of employees and must keep the guests’ comfort and well-being as a priority.
Being on top of all these chores is certainly not easy and an additional strain is put by the fact that many guests have the freedom to adjust their room thermostat by themselves, often leave the lights on in unoccupied rooms, use hot water excessively and frequently leave the doors and windows open while the AC is still running. This greatly increases the amount of energy consumed which also increases your operating costs.
These are the issues any lodging business needs to address in order to optimize its energy efficiency and here are several suggestions how to do it.
Proper and regular maintenance is the key to a successful energy optimization. Ensure your maintenance staff conducts regular inspections in order to spot leaks and damages in time. Make sure the seal all the cracks around doors, windows and around the wall or window-mounted HVAC units with weather strips.
One of the biggest energy consumers in both residential and commercial buildings is the cooling/heating system, so have the staff clean the filters and condenser and evaporator coils on regular basis to prevent the system from working overtime to achieve the same results.
You’ll also have a lot of benefit from installing programmable thermostats in each room and heat lamp timers in bathrooms, as it’ll give you the option of switching them off to reduce excessive operation. In addition, replace all the traditional incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LED lights since they waste less energy, provide more light and are overall more cost-effective due to their longer lifespan.
One of the best energy upgrades that you can make on your lodging business is upgrading its insulation and replacing old, inefficient doors and windows with new, double-glazed models. A large amount of energy is wasted due to the poor wall, roof and basement insulation, so this will greatly improve your energy conservation efforts.
As a part of a long-term plan that will give you the biggest return on your investment is turning towards renewable energy sources. This commonly means implementing systems such as rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, ozone laundry systems, a solar PV system, and replacing all appliances with Energy Star rated ones.
This might sound like an expensive project at first, but with commercial energy upgrades available today, you can combine several improvements into one package and apply for affordable financing options. PACE financing is a cost-effective way to fund a wide range of energy-saving upgrades that will enable your business to cut costs, optimize its operations, save water, utilize renewable energy and also ensure protection from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
With a financing option like this, as a property owner, you can get 100% funding based on the available equity in your property and your paying ability. All the costs, including interest and fees, are added to your property tax and paid over a period of time through your tax bill or as a part of your monthly mortgage payments.
Encourage your staff to take part in environmentally-friendly practices with the goal of constant improvement and timely re-evaluation and reporting. Create your own in-house green team consisting of your housekeepers who will make sure the lights, televisions, and radios are turned off in the guest rooms when unoccupied, reset heating/cooling thermostats, and close curtains and draperies to reduce heat loss or gain depending on the season.
Provide educational opportunities for your staff and organize yearly training on best green practices for your lodging buildings and grounds and also include informational posters in lobbies, lounges and guest areas.
There are numerous energy-saving solutions you can implement into your lodging business in order to convert it into the energy-efficient system. Start slowly by educating your staff and raising awareness, and move on to implementing upgrades that will result in changes in your energy consumption and utility bills.