Availability of affordable & reliable energy is a key service component for the hospitality sector. Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways for hotels to reduce power bills, improve corporate brand while at the same time combating the rising climate change. The need for hotels to be more energy efficient and reduce cost has never been more important and urgent.
Benefits of energy efficiency for hotels
(a) Reducing energy use makes perfect business sense; it saves money, improves operational efficiencies and enhances corporate reputation by complying with necessary regulations. While in the hospitality sector energy costs may be a small percentage of turnover, reducing them can directly increase revenue without the need to increase sales. Money saved on energy goes straight to the bottom line which makes businesses more competitive. With rising energy prices, this is more important than ever. The implementation of simple energy efficiency measures can also increase levels of staff and customer comfort.
(b) In addition to financial benefits of energy efficiency, there are social and environmental advantages to reducing energy consumption, such as minimizing climate change. Increasing awareness about these issues has seen customers and guests becoming more discerning about the environmental credentials of the businesses they deal with, especially for the hospitality sector. Being energy efficient can enhance business’s reputation to environment conscious clients and help attract more customers.
(c) Generally, energy saving projects are considered to be low risk. The solutions are proven in practice so investments can be made with a fairly high degree of confidence in obtaining the expected return. Often there are actions that can be implemented with minimum investments, thereby offering short payback periods.
(d) The enterprise cannot avoid the cost of energy efficiency by doing nothing. If the facility is wasting 20% of its energy, the organizations pays for that every single day. Putting off energy efficiency projects means keeping on paying year after year for energy that was inefficiently used. Energy costs continue to increase, and projects become more expensive due to rising prices. Immediate investment in energy-efficiency projects leads to energy savings which can compound over time if re-invest in further improvements. Energy efficiency is a continuous cycle rather than a one-off project. This is important because it means that the problem can be approached gradually and energy saving actions phased according to available budget and time resource.
Opportunities for energy saving for hotels in Kenya.
The hospitality sector is diverse, comprising hotels, guest houses, bars, restaurants and other catering establishments. Despite the diversity, there are several common areas where energy is wasted. Typical energy users for hotels that present an opportunity for energy saving include the following:
(1) Energy saving for hot water heating: Hot water heating normally forms a major cost for consumers in the hospitality industry and if not monitored properly can lead to considerable energy costs. The audit process will involve analysis of the boilers and alternative heating techniques for evaluation of usage, efficiency and identification of energy saving opportunities for hot water heating in the facility. There are affordable measures that when implemented can save on water use and the resultant energy costs.
(2) Energy saving for kitchen & catering equipment: Catering equipment typically consume significant amounts of energy, from grills, fryers to chillers and freezers. This means that there is a great opportunity for energy savings to be achieved. The energy assessment entails an audit of the installed cooking equipment, ovens, refrigeration, dish washers among others for usage and efficiency. The energy auditor will take measurements, observe normal operations in the kitchen area as well as identify energy savings opportunities in the kitchen.
(3) Energy saving for lighting systems: Good lighting creates the necessary ambience and mood for guests to relax and enjoy time in the hotel. This means that bills related to lighting can be significantly high and should be considered when looking for opportunities to save energy. An energy assessment entails lighting tests and assessments at the premise in order to identify consumption of existing lighting systems, their efficiencies, operational practices that can reduce wastage, improve lighting energy usage and will assist in determining which solutions will work for your facility.
(4) Energy saving for heating, ventilation & air conditioning: Depending on the facility, the location and heating requirements, the cost of heating in a facility can generally account for up to forty percent of energy use in the hotel. This is a lot of energy and therefore a big opportunities to make savings. An energy audit will assist determine heat levels and develop recommendations for proper heating levels recommendations for hallways, bathrooms, conference rooms and other sections within the hotel.
(5) Energy saving for leisure & fitness facilities: For establishments with such, leisure facilities can form a major source of energy use. Heated indoor swimming pools, saunas and fitness suites have become popular additions to many hotels and guest houses. And whilst such facilities enhance the guest experience, they can also dramatically increase energy consumption. An energy assessment of leisure and fitness equipment done by the auditor and implementation recommendations made on energy efficiency measures aimed at minimizing operational costs while maximizing guest satisfaction.
(6) Energy saving for water pumping: Depending on the specific application of a hotel facility, pumping can be a major consumer of electricity. General pump equipment assessment performed by the energy auditor which may include the collection of nameplate data for available pumps, study of operations and recommendation for optimized use in order to save energy.
(7) Energy saving for plug loads: Evaluation and consumption estimations of all plug loads and IT equipment will be done with the view of determining the total consumption overall installed loads within the facility. Computers, televisions, conference equipment, UPS backups among others will be reviewed for energy use.
An energy audit is the first step of the energy management cycle that comprises of a strategy that should be adopted by Hotels to achieve energy saving. There are several low and no-cost solutions that can be readily implemented in a facility to start benefiting from energy savings.
At Support.KE we are committed to ensuring that you are energy efficient and making the most of your power. We offer energy efficiency services including energy auditing, energy efficiency training and implementation to ensure your power bills are reduced and your operations are optimized. Get support today. Call us toll-free on 0800 211 245.