Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 24

Energy efficiency good for wallet - and guests

because if you don't have a sense of how much energy and
water you are using and paying for now, it's hard to know to set
a goal for yourself to move forward. A good metaphor is if you
want to lose weight. It's good to know how much you weigh to
start with and then set a goal weight and work towards that
goal. You can't manage what you don't measure.
Once you benchmark and have a sense of how much energy
and water you use and how it compares to other hotels, there
is a whole range of actions you can take to improve your
energy use. There are all sorts of tools and resources you
can use that help you identify operational changes or activity that can help you save energy. (For more information on
resources, visit betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov)
Actions like turning off lights when no one is using them,
and making sure you're using the most energy-efficient
equipment. If you have to buy new equipment, look for the
most energy-efficient models. Also, follow maintenance
cycles on equipment and make sure the equipment you have
is maintained and operating like it should be. A lower cost
activity than buying new pieces of equipment is to install
occupancy sensors for lights and spaces with intermittent
occupancy, like offices, stairwells, conference rooms and
fitness centers. Then, make sure you train your employees
on how those sensors work.

money on your energy bills but typically more energy-efficient
technology improves the comfort for guests and operators.
The lights are less harsh. The heating and cooling is easier
to reach desired temperatures and maintain it. When you
provide a better quality environment and you're doing it in
a way that consumers can see, it does allow you to increase
the marketability of your hotel, and that is one of the biggest
things hoteliers can do to increase their revenue.

BESIDES FINANCIAL IMPACT, IS THERE
ANYTHING ELSE HOTELIERS STAND TO GAIN BY
IMPROVING ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENCY?
I want to emphasize it's really about this improved guest
comfort and satisfaction. With better equipment, there's better temperature management. Guests don't like walking into
over-conditioned rooms or spaces. The lighting quality tends
to be better. There are ways to get recognized and talk about
what it is you're doing - participating, for example, in what
we're doing at the DOE Better Buildings Alliance or you can
earn an ENERGY STAR certification for your hotel. There are a
lot of ways to communicate to your guests and your employees. For hotels in particular, it is important to get a team of
employees at the hotel involved.

IF HOTELIERS MAKE CHANGES TO IMPROVE
THEIR ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENCY, HOW
COULD THAT AFFECT THEM FINANCIALLY?

HOW CAN HOTELIERS GET ALL EMPLOYEES IN
ALL DEPARTMENTS TO BUY INTO IMPROVING
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENCY? HOW ABOUT
GETTING BUY-IN FROM GUESTS?

There are two different buckets. It can help them financially
by reducing the cost associated with their energy bills. And
then there's this other stream of financial implication from
their increased marketability when consumers and guests
know that they are paying attention to being a good steward
of environmental resources. On average, buildings in this
country can save about 20 percent on their energy use cost
effectively with a relatively short payback. You can save a lot
more energy if you are willing to invest more upfront to put
in advanced technology. LED lighting is a great opportunity
that a lot of hoteliers are taking advantage of. If you have
an HVAC system that is over 15 or 20 years old, you should
think about replacing it. It's a big-ticket item, but a lot of
people only pay attention when they buy the item to what it
costs upfront. They forget the second price they have to pay,
and that's the energy bills paid over time. Hoteliers really
want to be thoughtful that if they need new equipment, to
look for technologies that have earned the government's
ENERGY STAR certification. From more efficient equipment
and lighting, you get reduced maintenance costs and longer
equipment life.
And then turn that around and talk to your guests about
the things you are doing and why you are doing them. One of
the nice things about energy efficiency and pursuing it as a
part of the way you run your hotel is that it allows you to have
your cake and eat it too, in the sense that it allows you to save

It really is a team effort. If the hotel owners and managers
aren't walking the talk and making it a team effort, it will
never succeed. There are so many people who touch the spaces
where guests stay and are responsible for helping make sure
the energy use of the property is sustainable when possible. It's
things like integrating measures into the regular responsibilities of the staff rather than having it be an optional add-on.
I've seen hoteliers have contests and raffles for employees
who help with great ideas for how to drive energy and water
use reduction so that it becomes part of the hotel's fabric and
culture. When you do that, you stand to not only benefit in
the short run but also in the long run.
Clear communication is important for both employees
and guests. I've worked enough with hotels to know that
hoteliers are cognizant that when people come to stay at
their property they are in vacation mode, and I know that
hoteliers have been hesitant to ask consumers to do something that they think guests may not want to do. But there's
been a fair amount of research done on how hoteliers can
best ask whether a guest wants to help. If they are OK using
the same towel, they can drape it over the rod or if they want
a clean one, they can put it in the bathtub. That's straightforward, but it's about training your housekeeping staff to
know those cues but then also to give the guest the option
of participating. Research has shown that most guests will
participate if given the chance.
■

24  | SEPTEMBER 2017 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM


http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - September 2017

Our National Parks: Still Beautiful but in Need of Repairs
Sustainability Steadily Becoming Part of Lodging Industry Dna
Energy Efficiency Good for Wallet – and Guests
Aahoa Interview
Technology
There’s More to Led Conversions Than Just Cost Savings
Case Study
Aahoa Interview
Small Business
Housekeeping
Property Taxes
Leadership
Marketing
Finance q&a
Back of the House
Final Thoughts
Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Aahoa Founding Members
Aahoa @ Industry
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - intro
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 3
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 4
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 5
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 6
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 7
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 8
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 9
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 11
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 13
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Our National Parks: Still Beautiful but in Need of Repairs
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 15
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Sustainability Steadily Becoming Part of Lodging Industry Dna
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 17
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 18
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 19
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 20
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 21
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Energy Efficiency Good for Wallet – and Guests
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 23
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 24
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 25
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Interview
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 27
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 28
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 29
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 31
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - There’s More to Led Conversions Than Just Cost Savings
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 33
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 34
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 35
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Case Study
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 37
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Interview
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 39
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 41
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Housekeeping
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 43
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Property Taxes
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 45
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 47
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 48
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 49
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 51
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 52
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 53
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Finance q&a
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 55
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 57
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 58
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 59
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 61
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa @ Industry
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 63
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 64
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 66
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 67
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 68
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 69
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 70
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 71
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 72
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 73
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 74
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Final Thoughts
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 77
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 78
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover4
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