Five ways to make a hotel more energy efficientHotels, like many commercial buildings, have to contend with the fact that they must be up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests won’t be pleased if the lights or the heat get turned off, even in the name of going green. This makes it tough for a business where, as the Guardian reported, energy expenses can comprise from five to 10 percent of total operating costs.

A hotel owner should want to take advantage of the cost savings and ROI that so many of the available energy efficient upgrades can offer them. Here are five ways that a hotel can become more energy efficient without sacrificing the comfort and enjoyment of their guests.

Under floor heating

Ben Gainsford, managing director of Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel in Hitchin, Hertfordshire just outside of London told the Guardian that he retrofitted his older building with under floor heating. This way of heating a room is more efficient than convection heating and your guests won’t lose anything in the way of comfort in their room.

LED lighting

Energy Star featured HEI Hotels & Resorts, a hospitality company that owns over 30 properties in the United States. HEI retrofitted all of their hotels with LED lights, a $2.7 million project that will pay itself off within an estimated 2 – 2.5 years.

One thing that makes hotel owners worry about LED lighting is the loss of the rooms’ ambiance. Many LED lights, however, come with a dimming function that allows individual guests to adjust them to their liking.

Update the HVAC

Cleaning the HVAC coils, removing blockages in ventilation and other measures can improve the efficiency of your existing system. Retrofitting an entirely new HVAC system that is Energy Star certified can be more expensive upfront, but can offer even more savings over the life of the system.

Take advantage of rebates

Most states have rebates and incentives for homeowners and businesses that install energy efficient equipment on their properties. Energy Star reported that HEI was able to get about $500,000 in rebates from the federal and state governments for making the decision to go green.

Increase staff engagement

Energy efficiency truly begins and ends with the employees. HEI has a suggestion box in each of their hotels where employees can suggest ways in which the business can reduce waste and improve efficiency.

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