Guide

Use resources efficiently in your hotel

Energy efficiency in your hotel

Improving energy efficiency can not only save your business money, it can also enhance your hotel’s reputation and help in the fight against climate change. You should aim to get the most out of the energy you use on a daily basis as opposed to simply trying to reduce energy use overall, as this mainly depends on occupancy numbers.

It will be helpful to identify areas where your hospitality business uses energy and establish how much you are using. Energy and supplier bills will be useful for this analysis.

Save energy in space heating

Insulating boilers, hot water tanks, pipes, flanges and valves will create energy savings that should deliver returns within a few months. Boilers should be serviced 1-2 times a year, as this can save up to 5 per cent on annual heating costs. Poor energy controls can waste energy, so setting good practice on room temperatures will optimise your heating costs. You should ensure automated controls are set properly, heating is switched off in unused areas and that staff are properly trained. See use heating and hot water systems efficiently.

Hot water efficiency

The optimum temperature for stored hot water is 60°C. This will kill bacteria and is sufficiently warm for use. Ensure that your hot water temperature control indicator is working correctly. Water saving devices can also save on water heating energy, see  save water in your hotel.

Lighting efficiency

You should create switch-off policies so that lighting is turned off in unoccupied areas and make staff aware of these rules. Regular maintenance and cleaning of hotel lighting systems can improve their effectiveness and reduce waste. You should try to use energy efficient lamps such as LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps. Automatic lighting controls can save 30-50 per cent on lighting costs. See lighting energy efficiency.

Save energy through building fabric

Around two thirds of heat from hotels can be lost through the building fabric - ceilings, floor, walls and windows. Minimise this loss through using insulation, keeping doors closed, closing curtains over-night and draught-proofing.

Save energy in catering facilities

There are a number of ways to reduce energy wastage in kitchens. Only switch on equipment when it is being used. You should try to regularly clean and maintain hotel ventilation systems. Frequently defrost and maintain freezers. Use the correct size of pots and pans when cooking and do not over-fill or keep turned up too high.

Leisure facilities efficiency

If you have a pool, installing a cover can create huge savings by reducing heating and ventilation requirements. Modern filtration systems are more energy efficient and create less waste than traditional sand filters. Ensure leisure facilities are switched off when not in use. You should also consider using a timer.

Alternative and renewable energy

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems run on natural gas and generate electricity while producing heat as a by-product. CHP is most effective when there is a high heat demand, such as when there is a pool. Heat pumps use natural thermal energy sources. They will decrease hotel gas bills, but increase electricity bills, so will be suitable depending on current prices. You might want to consider renewable energy sources including biomass energy, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind.