Here’s How Smart Energy Solutions Can Improve Your Hotel’s Bottom Line

Written by Dan Star

There are quite a few costs associated with owning and operating a hotel. The brunt of these costs tends to be related to the process of supplying energy to the hotel. While hotel owners can employ quite a few workarounds to mitigate their hotel’s short-term energy costs, the best smart energy solutions to improve a hotel’s bottom line are long-term.

The best long-term intelligent energy solutions to improve your hotel’s bottom line include investing in predictive energy-management systems and innovative methods for garnering and storing energy, such as renewables like wind and solar.

In addition to these long-term smart energy solutions, there are also plenty of other long-term solutions that are not related to smart energy that hotel owners can take to reduce their hotel’s energy consumption. Keep reading to learn more about Groove Technology Solutions long-term smart energy solutions and any other solutions that can improve your hotel’s bottom line.

What Uses the Most Energy in a Hotel?

Before you begin looking into ways to reduce your hotel’s energy consumption, it is crucial that you first determine what exactly is consuming the most energy in your hotel. Therefore, you can plan out your strategy for reducing your hotel’s energy consumption relative to how your hotel’s energy usage is structured.

While every hotel is different in how it allocates its energy resources, the majority of energy consumption in most hotels is accrued through temperature regulation. This includes the process for heating water in addition to the process for controlling the temperature of each room. 

Thus, reducing your hotel’s energy consumption should be centered around temperature regulation.

Still, several other types of energy consumption are typical of most hotels and should not be ignored. Here is a list of the most expensive modes of energy consumption that can typically be found in most hotels:

  • Temperature Regulation: This includes, specifically, providing hot water to each room and heating and cooling the hotel lobby and each room in the hotel.
  • Lighting: Providing light to the hotel lobby, hallways, multi-purpose/conference rooms, and each room in the hotel 
  • TV/Media: Powering the television set and various other electronics (such as radios or digital clocks) in each room in the hotel. This can also include any television sets or additional forms of media that can be found throughout the hotel.
  • Kitchen: This includes the operating costs associated with any built-in kitchen that provides room service to the hotel’s individual rooms. This may also include the energy usage of restaurant or bar kitchens that may be built into the hotel as well.
  • Laundry: This includes the energy usage required to power laundry machines and dryers, which are used to clean the towels, linens, and various other laundry items associated with the hotel.
  • Ventilation: The energy usage required to operate the ventilation systems of each hotel room

Depending on the type of hotel you operate, there may also be additional modes of energy consumption in your hotel. A few of the most common energy consumers found in hotels and resorts are fitness centers, pools and spa rooms, game centers, ballrooms, office spaces, casinos, and themed attractions for more extravagant resort-style hotels.

All of these common modes of energy consumption can put quite a toll on your hotel’s energy bill. However, you are not out of the woods if your hotel does not possess all of these features.

The average amount that American hotels spend on just the energy necessary for each hotel room is roughly $2,196 per year. Therefore, if you are operating a hotel with just 30 available rooms, you will end up spending over $65,000 on just the energy necessary for powering each room in your hotel.

These costs are just the tip of the iceberg, as the energy costs associated with each room tend only to represent roughly 6 percent of a hotel’s ultimate operating costs. However, these staggering costs can always be mitigated by sensible practices and the implementation of smart technology.

In the following several sections, this article will detail exactly how your hotel can work towards mitigating these steep energy costs. Even just a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption would yield the same profit margin as what your hotel would earn if it increased each room’s daily rate by a little more than a dollar.

Instead of increasing prices, let’s take a look at ways you can increase your hotel’s profit margin while also working toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly existence.

Smart Energy Solutions to Improve Your Hotel’s Bottom Line

While there are numerous ways you can reduce energy costs for your hotel, an increasingly popular method for doing so in recent years has been implementing smart energy solutions. Smart energy solutions are essentially a technology that works toward applying your hotel’s energy usage in as efficient a way as possible.

Now, there are many different ways to implement this technology. In some cases, certain products are necessary for the technology to function. There are also plenty of companies that work toward providing businesses with sustainable technologies that are aimed at improving a business’s bottom line, such as energy management ones like Cirq+, Telkonet, and Interel. 

Still, it is important to know exactly which steps you can take to reduce your hotel’s energy usage and improve its bottom line as a result. So far, we have a fairly vague concept of how to do so. 

So, let’s take a look at some examples of smart energy solutions and how they work toward improving your hotel’s energy usage efficiency.

Smart Lighting Systems

One of the simplest smart technologies you can implement in your hotel is a smart lighting system. Smart lighting systems can work in various ways to mitigate your energy costs. Most systems have motion sensors that will only activate the lights in any given room when motion is detected.

Many of these systems also feature timers which dim or even shut off lights for certain hours of the day, in which daylight will suffice to provide enough light into the hotel. These smart lighting systems typically require LED bulbs to function, which can be quite the upfront cost if none of the light bulbs in your hotel are LED bulbs.

However, these upfront costs will pale in comparison to the amount you will save on energy by switching to LED bulbs and a smart light system. Smart light systems have an estimated payback period of just 4 years, so you only have to wait four years for your purchase to turn into an investment.

Then, once you break even, your smart light system will truly work to save your hotel on its operating costs. Many hotels have cut energy costs by over 75% by only switching over to a smart light system!

Many of these smart light systems are fully customizable; so, depending on the requirements and preferences of your hotel’s staff and guests, you can adjust these settings accordingly. There are a few better ways to cut costs and work toward running a more sustainable and eco-friendly business than implementing a smart light system in your hotel.

HVAC Systems

Another excellent smart technology you can implement in your hotel is an HVAC system. As mentioned in a previous section, most of any hotel’s energy costs come from temperature regulation. HVAC systems, an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems, are designed to regulate a room’s temperature as efficiently as possible.

Hotels can implement HVAC technology in several ways. One example of this technology is a motion sensor that can detect whether a person is occupying a room. This can be used to help reduce energy consumption by reducing or shutting off the amount of heat or air conditioning being applied to the room when it is unoccupied. 

Smart thermostats can also help mitigate energy costs by adjusting their exertion depending on local weather patterns and occupancy. HVAC systems can also mitigate the energy costs related to running a ventilator, another significant energy consumer found in most hotels. Ultimately, HVAC systems are an incredibly effective way to reduce a hotel’s energy costs.

Air Source Heat Pumps

If you are looking for an even more effective method for improving your hotel’s bottom line by reducing the energy that goes into temperature regulation, then you should look into air source heat pumps. Although air-source heat pumps are typically used in homes, particularly those in colder climates, some hotels have installed air source heat pumps to great success.

Air source heat pumps come as a refrigeration system, which contains:

  • A compressor
  • Copper coils
  • Aluminum fins
  • Liquid refrigerant

These parts work together to heat even the coldest of rooms as efficiently as possible. The proof of this efficiency is in the statistics. 

The annual savings for individual households that use air source heat pumps in place of electric resistance heaters add up to about $459 per year. If you consider each room in your hotel as an individual household, the savings for your hotel could reach tens of thousands depending on the building’s size.

Air source heat pumps will have to be installed as individual units in each room rather than a cohesive technology, making the implementation process a little more difficult. However, the reward for doing so is that your hotel will save quite a bit on its energy costs.

Automatic Shutdown Sockets

One of the most wasteful energy uses in any household, place of business, or hotel is something you may have heard before but chose to ignore. This energy waster is known as either vampire power draw or standby power. It occurs whenever electronics or other appliances are turned off but still plugged into an electrical socket.

These electronics and appliances may still be on a standby mode, which will continue to draw power from the socket even when they are turned off. If you were in your own home, you might choose to simply unplug appliances and electronics with a standby mode when they are not in use.

However, it is unfair to rely on guests of a hotel to follow these standards as well. Instead, you can install automatic shutdown sockets. These sockets use sensors or timers to stop sending power to any devices they are connected to. This shutdown can be influenced by occupancy or by adjusting the settings for specific times of the day.

Ultimately, automatic shutdown sockets are an excellent investment for those looking for every possible way to mitigate the energy costs of operating a hotel.

Predictive Energy-Management Monitoring Systems

While most of the technologies listed above are designed to take action in reducing your hotel’s energy usage and improving its bottom line, other technologies simply monitor your hotel’s energy usage that is also worth investing in. 

Predictive energy-management monitoring systems can collect data related to the energy-using systems you currently have installed. This can be helpful even if you have other smart technologies implemented. Smart technologies, like HVAC systems and LED bulbs, still experience failures just like any other system.

If you were not monitoring during these failures, you might not be able to locate and remedy the issue. However, monitoring these failures can make it that much easier to locate any potential room for improvement. Then, you can make these improvements quicker than you would have without a predictive energy-management monitoring system.

Smart Water Conservation Systems

One of the sneakiest energy costs for any household, business, or hotel is water. Hot water is actually included in the category of temperature regulation, which overwhelmingly surpasses most other modes of energy usage in the average hotel.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce water consumption in your hotel. One of the most popular of these methods is low-pressure sink faucets, which reduce the water amount that flows from the faucet. There are also versions of this for showerheads and toilets. Many toilets are now built with an eco-friendly flush option.

You can also implement conservation systems related to water heating. Heated water is one of the greatest energy consumers among hotels, so using more efficient or eco-friendly technologies to heat your hotel’s water can go a long way in improving your hotel’s bottom line. 

Ultimately, taking steps to mitigate your hotel’s water consumption is one of the most important things you can do to reduce its operating costs. This is especially true if you are also taking the necessary steps to heat your water more efficiently.

Practical Solutions to Improve Your Hotel’s Bottom Line

There are certainly many smart energy solutions you can take to improve your hotel’s bottom line. However, if you are looking to cut operating costs without having to implement smart technology, there are plenty of methods you can employ.

Some of these methods may still include implementing technology, but there are also plenty of methods that have more to do with communication and slight behavioral changes than anything else. Ultimately, most of these methods can be implanted at any hotel, regardless of substance or scale.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practical solutions for reducing energy consumption in your hotel to improve its bottom line.

Utilize Natural Light

One of the greatest energy consumers in any household, business, or hotel is the power required to operate the lights. While we have mentioned smart light systems earlier in this article, which work to maximize your hotel’s light system’s efficiency, the best method for reducing energy used to power lights is to simply not use lights at all.

Of course, this does not mean you should ask staff and guests to navigate your hotel in the dark. Rather, this means you should work to maximize the amount of natural light that enters each room of your hotel. This could mean anything from installing more windows, to changing the layout of each room, to optimize the light path from the exterior to the interior.

Many hotels request that their staff utilize natural light during the day, and many of these same hotels request that their guests refrain from using their lights during peak daylight hours. Just these simple steps can help reduce your hotel’s energy costs. 

Upgrade Light Bulbs

Another step you can take to reduce the amount of energy that is used to power your hotel’s lights is to simply upgrade your light bulbs to a more energy-efficient brand. Of course, this can be done in unison with installing a smart light system, but you do not have to do both.

LED bulbs work well on their own, regardless of any smart technology assistance, to reduce energy consumption. There are plenty of other light bulbs that simply burn at a more efficient rate to help reduce your hotel’s energy costs. 

These bulbs also tend to last longer than less efficient bulbs, which means you will have to spend less time and money maintaining your hotel’s light systems. Ultimately, upgrading your hotel’s light bulbs is a simple and proven method for improving your hotel’s bottom line while doing your part to conserve energy.

Reusable Towels/Linens

While this may not sound like a sanitary option, there are plenty of hotels that use reusable towels or linens in their hotel rooms. This does not mean that these towels and linens carry over from one guest to another. Rather, this generally means that towels and linens are not washed after every night of one party’s stay.

One of the major energy consumers in any given hotel is laundry. Hotels tend to go overboard with laundry, washing people’s linens and towels on a daily basis, even if they are staying in the same room for multiple days. Of course, this is all done to provide guests with an experience that goes above and beyond the norm. 

However, if guests knew how much energy was wasted on such an unnecessary task, you may wonder whether or not they would choose to reuse their towels and linens instead of receiving freshly washed replacements every day. 

Ultimately, it is worth playing to people’s altruism rather than their self-interest in this case. In addition to contributing to our perpetual responsibility to our environment, sustainable practices such as these can also work wonders for your hotel’s balance sheet.

Adjust Temperature Control When Rooms are Uninhabited

One of the most effective smart technologies listed in the previous section is the HVAC system. HVAC systems work to maximize the efficiency of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning by adjusting the amount of power exerted into each task depending on occupancy, local weather updates, and various other factors.

However, you can operate the thermostats in each room like an HVAC system without ever installing an HVAC system. If you simply lower or raise the thermostat, depending on the season and climate, to a less energy-consuming degree, you will be doing your part in conserving energy. Just this simple act can also have a beneficial effect on your hotel’s bottom line.

Guest Rules/Limitations

While it is certainly important for you as the hotel operator to take actions to mitigate your hotel’s energy consumption, you are not the only one who can be taking action. Guests of your hotel have a responsibility to our environment and their accommodations. For instance, there are rules that guests must follow in your hotel.

If conserving energy is important to your hotel, certainly there could be a rule or limitation on the amount of energy the guests of your hotel use. This could be as simple as limiting the temperature amount guests can adjust the thermostat. or requesting lights not be used during peak daylight hours. 

Ultimately, the best way to conserve energy in your hotel is by working with the people that inhabit your hotel.

Install Solar Panels/Other Renewables

Many households and businesses have employed solar energy systems, or other renewable energy systems, as their primary energy provider. There is plenty of benefit to using a renewable energy system to power your household or business, such as being able to store your own energy and become self-reliant, but this can be a tougher task in a hotel.

Implementing renewable energies on a broader scale can be quite expensive, and you will need to find a location to install enough solar panels necessary to garner the solar energy to power your entire hotel. However, renewable energies can be a great long-term investment, and there are already plenty of hotels and Airbnb’s that are entirely powered by renewables.

A great example of this is Casa Sol in Puerto Rico, which became a beacon of hope and support in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Install an Eco-Gym

There have certainly been quite a few ingenious methods for cutting costs and conserving energy mentioned in this article. However, there is perhaps no method more ingenious than installing an eco-gym.

There is gym equipment, such as SportArt’s line of Eco-Powr equipment, that harnesses up to 74 percent of human energy and can turn it into electricity. Suppose you were to install this gym equipment in the fitness center of your hotel. In that case, you could turn your investment into energy supply for the hotel while giving your guests a satisfying workout experience.

Ultimately, this might not be your first choice for cutting energy costs in your hotel, but it may be the choice that lends itself best to both conserving energy and improving guest satisfaction.

Set Environmental Goals

You can also take several steps to shift the mentality of your hotel’s staff in a more sustainable and eco-friendly direction. Setting goals for mitigating energy consumption and implementing sustainable practices can be a great way to keep the whole team on the same track.

Communicate Effectively with Hotel Staff

Finally, this information must be conveyed effectively to the hotel staff. Often, tremendous corporate changes can feel insignificant to front-line workers. It is important that, as the operator of a hotel, you are able to reach everyone with a hand in the operation of the hotel. 

Ultimately, the sustainable and eco-friendly practices of your hotel will only be fully realized if every employee works together with a shared resolve.

Improve Your Hotel’s Bottom Line with Groove Technology Solutions

By the end of this article, it should be clear exactly what long-term smart energy solutions are and how they can work to reduce your hotel’s energy usage – and, as a result, improve your hotel’s bottom line.

Lighting is a huge factor in your hotel’s massive electric bill. Using Groove Technology Solutions smart technology to limit light usage during the day, or even eliminate it all together in empty rooms, can make a big difference to your bottom line.

In addition, there are also plenty of other long-term solutions that are not related to smart energy that hotel owners can take to reduce the energy consumption of their hotel. If there is one takeaway from this article, it is that there are plenty of methods one can take to reducing energy consumption. Many of these methods can be easily implemented in your hotel right now. We proudly help businesses in all 50 states and offer superior customer service with fast response times. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how they can enhance your hotel.