Five ways your hotel can save on energy costs

By Tomas van Stee - June 23, 2022

TL;DR


  • Hotels are one of the largest groups of energy consumers looking for energy-efficient solutions to save on costs.

  • Implementing basic efficiency measures and using smart technologies yield significant savings opportunities.

  • Combining energy efficiency assets with a curtailment solution can help hotels save up to 70 percent on total costs.


Energy prices are rising, and hotel managers are looking for ways to save on costs. Innovative energy reduction strategies that include curtailment and smart assets will help hotels stay profitable. 

With 24-hour, 365-day operations, hotels are one of the largest energy and water consumers per square foot. They spend an average of $2,196 per room annually on energy, which accounts for six percent of their total operating costs

Fortunately, there are many energy-efficient solutions hotels can leverage to save money. By implementing basic efficiency measures, a hotel can cut its energy usage by 20 percent. Smart technologies will further reduce consumption by up to 30 percent.

Combining these strategies with an energy curtailment solution can help hotels save up to 70 percent on their total annual energy costs.


Here are five ways hotel owners and managers can save on energy costs.

  1. Use smart lighting: Lighting represents 23 percent of a hotel’s total energy consumption on average, making it a significant improvement area. One of the easiest ways to do this is to upgrade incandescent bulbs to LEDs, which last longer and are 1,000 percent more energy efficient. LEDs also emit very little heat, which can reduce cooling costs over the summer.

Beyond LEDs, hotels can install an automatic sensor system and timers, so lights turn off when not in use. Furthermore, this smart lighting technology will help you better understand energy needs, track occupancy patterns, and improve energy consumption. 

Lighting retrofits can reduce lighting electricity use by 50 percent or more, yielding significant savings. Best Western Plus in Thunder Bay, for example, has reduced annual costs by $12,800 a year with a lighting retrofit.

  1. Optimize HVAC systems: Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems (HVAC) control temperatures in guest rooms, lobbies, offices, and other spaces, making them a vital energy investment for hotels.  

HVAC systems use a lot of energy, accounting for approximately 40% of energy costs for hotels. This means that hotels can save more by reducing the use of their HVAC systems.

As HVAC technology advances every year, hotels need to upgrade and maintain their systems to capture further savings. Newer HVAC systems include occupancy-based controls (OBC), saving up to 30 percent on HVAC electricity costs. Hotels can use HVAC systems with OBCs in new projects and retrofits, but implementing them across the entire hotel will create increased savings. 

  1. Leverage building automated systems: Creating a comfortable and energy-efficient hotel experience is easier with a building automation system (BAS), also known as energy management systems (EMS). These systems can help decrease utility costs, boost productivity, and increase guest satisfaction.  

BASes connect and will automate lighting, HVAC, sensors, thermostat, fire, and security systems. This provides hotel managers with centralized control over many of the operations that impact energy consumption, therefore increasing savings

Building automation systems can also compile, monitor, and analyze energy usage, helping you make informed energy decisions. For example, control temperatures or lighting during periods of low occupancy or at certain points of the day to reduce energy consumption and costs. 

  1. Curtail energy consumption: Once a hotel has set-up smart systems that are able to allow a building to respond to events, they can implement a curtailment strategy to drastically increase their total energy savings.

However, this is difficult for hotels to do on their own, as monitoring energy market changes is complicated and time-consuming.

One of the best ways to respond to energy spikes is by leveraging a coincident peak program (CP). Participating in a CP program will allow you to receive payments and savings for lowering the demand on the grid.

Through a CP program, hotel managers can receive notifications to reduce their consumption to avoid expensive peaks. This gives hotels flexibility on when to curtail, leading to significant savings captured during peak events. 

  1. Solar power: Lastly, as a bonus, many hotels are installing solar panels to save more on energy costs, and protect the environment. With solar technology, hotels can save more than 70 percent, instead providing up to 100 percent of the energy they need, making utility bills non-existent. 

Many hotels that use solar energy report significant cost savings and high returns on investment. 

With solar power, hotels have the opportunity to sell the electricity they haven’t used back to the grid, depending on the area. Hotels can then use this revenue to pay for any utility costs that may remain, or purchase additional energy efficiency assets.

Although purchasing solar technology can be expensive, hotels will start to see monthly savings immediately. Also, depending on where the hotel is located, there are incentives for solar energy, helping to offset costs.

Often it is a challenge for hotels to get their energy-efficiency projects started because of the upfront costs. These projects are ‘big-ticket items’ that save money by reducing energy consumption, but also cost time and money to implement. 

How EnPowered can help hotels increase energy savings 

EnPowered has the tools to help hotels save more on energy costs from day one. Whether you are looking to get the most from your energy technology, or purchase new energy assets, we will help you take control over your energy profile.

EnPowered Programs makes energy efficiency and curtailment simple, so you can focus on core business priorities. With Programs, you can get accurate price signals, allowing you to curtail your usage and save up to 70 percent on costs.

EnPowered Payments can provide more opportunity to save. Many companies often shelve their energy initiatives due to budget constraints. Payments allows you to pay for your energy solutions from future savings, directly on your electricity bill, with no upfront costs. 

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to see how EnPowered can help you get started on your projects and save on energy costs.

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