Hotel energy management
Hotel Energy Management is the practice of controlling procedures, operations and equipment that contribute to the energy use in a hotel operation. This can include electricity, gas, water or other natural resources. Because hotels can have complicated operations and extensive facilities they utilize many different types of energy resources. Hotel energy usages are tracked and classified by the U.S. Department of Energy and statistics are regularly published in the Energy Information Administration annual reports.
Modern practices to control energy usage includes contributions by the guests themselves which has been popularized by information cards requesting guests to save water by letting hotel housekeeping staff know if they would care to re-use towels and bed linens. This reduces the amount of water and/or cleaning substances used by the hotel laundry department which also reduces the expense to the property owner or manager.
Recently consultants have developed entire organizations around advising hotels where they are operating inefficiently or using more energy than necessary. Some of them participate by providing the products to implement their advice for a share of the cost savings. These companies have proliferated over the years as public and business energy concerns grow and are known as ESCO's (Energy Service COmpanies). Other practices include using infrared motion sensors and door contacts to control the heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) when guests leave them on and leave the room or leave open balcony doors or windows.
Hotel facility managers are using cloud-based software to manage their energy efficiency projects. The Department of Energy (DOE) Software Directory describes EnergyActio software, a cloud based platform designed for this purpose.
Guest Room Energy Management
In today’s economic climate, hotels, resorts and conference centers need new ways to reduce operating expenses. HVAC and lighting costs represent two of the largest uncontrolled operating expenses in the hospitality industry, making electricity usage an excellent target for cost reduction. A typical hotel room is vacant roughly 70% of an average day—suggesting that a considerable percentage of energy used to heat and cool spaces is wasted on empty rooms. The challenge is to decrease energy usage without negatively impacting guest comfort.
Most commercial energy management systems are schedule-based and optimized for central plant control. They are not useful for spaces like guest rooms that have unpredictable occupancy patterns. New technology exists in the form of thermostats that have internal passive infrared (PIR) and motion sensors, light sensors, a real-time clock, multiple inputs for remote sensors and contacts and a powerful internal processor to aggregate all this data to understand if the room is occupied and control room temperature at predetermined levels. The thermostat is networked to a central command center that manages the data from all connected thermostats to manage an entire facility and report operating trends. This type of system can also be integrated with a hotels' property management system (PMS) to determine sold or unsold room status for additional energy savings by going into a deep setback mode. Additional features like a recovery time algorithm manages unoccupied room temperature to a time frame of minutes it will take to return the unoccupied room temperature to the occupied temperature setting rather than a temperature-based setting. The advantage being the recovery time-based system considers time of day, solar gain, drapery position, indoor vs. outdoor temperature and other factors and can recover to the guest's temperature setting quicker than other systems.