Monday, June 11, 2012

How to save money on energy

Opportunities are there for hotels to become greener. To save energy, water, resources. However, what are the reasons for doing it? Is it because it is good for the environment? Is it because it became a trend? Is it becauseit is cool? Is it because they are expected to do it? 
No... it is because not only is good business, but is Smart Business - Becoming greened saves money!

Do your homework
  • Ask your energy providers or local government if they offer any type of incentive program for implementing energy-efficient equipment or processes.
  • Put together a written energy management plan. Key components should include energy forecasting and procurement, facility audits, financial analysis, integrated building upgrades, equipment purchasing, new construction and preventive maintenance.
  • Implement a comprehensive preventive maintenance program to monitor all potential areas of energy consumption.
  • Implement an employee awareness program and encourage them to report energy waste to managers, maintenance or engineering personnel.
  • Electric meters should be submetered to make it easy to identify the largest electricity users at the hotel and to recognize problem areas. Set targets for energy consumption per meter.
  • Be cautious of energy remarketers when planning your energy purchasing strategy. Locking in rates can actually eliminate incentives to save energy.

  • Hire an energy expert to conduct an audit of your hotel.
  • Contract with an energy monitoring and reporting service to track utility costs and interpret billing trends.
  • Assign someone to monitor energy consumption on a consistent basis.

  • Install energy management systems in guestrooms, meeting rooms and other public spaces.
  • Install energy misers on vending machines.
  • Install thermal-glass windows.
  • Install draperies with thermal reflective liners.
  • Purchase renewable energy from your local utility.
  • Use solar panels to generate electricity.
  • Explore the purchase of a fuel cell power generator

Preventive maintenance
  • Train housekeepers to turn off lighting and heating and cooling equipment when not needed. easily resolve this problem.
  • Check HVAC controls for proper calibration. Improperly maintained air handlers can waste up to 32 percent of the energy they consume. 
  • Check all duct work for air leaks and repair where appropriate. Air ducts should be cleaned monthly.
  • Check all electrical systems for loose connections or poor motor conditions. Without proper preventive maintenance, these systems typically generate a 5 to 10 percent energy loss.
  • Furnaces and boilers should be completely inspected by a professional mechanical contractor at least once or twice a year.

Equipment Purchasing
  • Purchase minibars that use LED lighting and that incorporate energy-efficient cooling systems.
  • Purchase hand dryers with automatic sensor controls. However if possible, use towels.
  • Purchase computer products that meet the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standard. They meet the Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency.

  • During low occupancy periods, place guests in closely-located guestrooms.
  • Encourage staff to use stairs when moving between one to two floors when not carrying loads.
  • Program your elevator to remain stationary on the exiting floor rather than returning to the main floor.
  • Shut down one or more of your elevators during periods of light traffic.
  • Shut down office equipment such as photocopiers and computer monitors when not in use.
  • Turn off coffee makers, hair dryers and other appliances or personal electronics while guestrooms are unoccupied.
  • Participate in as many Energy Star programs as possible.

  • In swimming pools, remove foreign material from the strainer baskets in the skimmer and pump regularly to maximize water recirculation.
  • Operate your pool pump during off peak hours.

  • Beware of local and passive construction techniques and use of materials. This will decrease the energy need. e.g. do not build a 'glass building' if your hotel is located in Alasca, or in Marocco (you get the idea). 
  • Use light-colored reflective surface on roofs.
  • Metal tile panel roofing systems can help reduce energy costs. 
  • Consider green roof systems that incorporate soil and plants.
  • Tint windows that receive direct sun, or use natural shades.
  • Use adequate amount of insulation in ceilings, exterior and basement walls, flooring and crawl spaces.
  • Weather stripping on outside entrances typically lasts less than two years. Placing a brush-type of weather stripping that does not affect the operation of the door and that provides a good seal from the outside cold weather will pay handsome dividends.

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