The cost of energy is crippling the nation right now. Households are struggling with bills that have soared by hundreds of pounds after the Energy Price Cap was increased by £700 in April. Businesses are also affected by these increases, hitting their bottom line like a sledgehammer.
Hotels are incredibly energy-hungry businesses to run. While people tend to be energy-efficient at home, when they stay in a hotel, they’ll use heating, lighting and laundry services like they’re going out of fashion. So what can you do, as a hotel owner, to reduce the pressure on your costs at a time when bills just seem to be going up and up?
Prioritise savings on your heating
Heating accounts for 40% of energy use in any building used for domestic purposes, and this also applies to hotels. Heating is very likely to be your largest single cost when it comes to utility bills, so start here.
Practical steps you can take include properly insulating pipes and boilers, as well as making sure boilers are serviced at least once a year, as this alone can save you 5% on heating costs.
Knowing the right temperatures for the rooms in your hotel will help you to ensure you’re not overheating spaces. And it goes without saying that heating should be turned off when areas of your hotel are unoccupied. This can be automated if you invest in the right technology, such as Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS).
What are the right temperatures for your hotel?
Hotel rooms should be heated to a steady 19-21 degrees, while bathrooms can be a little higher, at 26-27 degrees. Keep kitchens to a cool 16-18 degrees but heat restaurants to a comfortable 22-24 degrees, so that people can feel comfortable and relaxed.
Don’t refurbish without considering energy-saving opportunities
A hotel refurbishment project is, perhaps, your best opportunity to save considerably on your energy costs and become much more efficient. Consider energy-saving add-ons like heat pumps, radiator thermostats, automatic shut-off taps and flushes, as well as heating technology like optimum start controllers and compensators.
Insulation is another aspect to consider when refurbishing, as making changes like introducing double glazing and draft-excluding doors can help you save up to 40% of the energy you currently consume, which will mean these expensive changes pay for themselves relatively quickly.
When you make any large investment in new equipment, it’s vital to keep energy efficiency in mind. Cutting costs for a cheaper, but less energy-efficient piece of kitchen equipment is often a false economy.
Consider your green credentials
As well as saving your cash, being more energy efficient is welcomed and expected by many guests. In fact, a large number of consumers are now actively seeking out greener hotels to help ease their conscience when holidaying.
Tripadvisor, one of the world’s top online review platforms for hotels and other hospitality businesses, has developed a new Green Leaders scheme, which helps guests to identify those hotels taking steps to minimise their impact on the planet and their contributions to climate change.
A listing here can help you attract more guests and future-proof your hotel as climate change becomes a higher priority for holidaymakers and business travellers alike.
The message when it comes to energy efficiency is you can never invest too much in this area. Improving efficiency will pay dividends over the years in both direct savings, your own impact on the environment and your hotel’s reputation among customers.
Leslie is here to support the hospitality industry as it recovers from the challenges of the pandemic. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to prepare your hotel for the future.