Taras Verkhoglyad
Sales Development Representative, Arloid Automation

How to Reduce Energy Consumption in Hotels By Up to 30%

In the UK alone, the hospitality industry spends over £1.3 billion on energy per year. In the US, energy represents an estimated 6% of all operational costs. For hotel businesses looking to take control of their bottom line, addressing energy consumption is financially critical. However, energy use in hotels can be difficult to control.

In this guide, the energy experts at Arloid provide some great ideas for reducing consumption in your hotel building.

The Problem of Hotel Energy Consumption

Hotels are uniquely diverse buildings, comprising everything from English country manors to luxury skyscrapers in Dubai. Whatever the case may be for you, it’s likely energy usage varies across different areas of the building. This is for various reasons.

Occupancy rate changes depending on a range of factors including the time of year and time of day. That makes it more complicated to predict when facilities will be used and tail down energy consumption accordingly. And, of course, the guest experience is of paramount importance – for many hoteliers, efficiency just isn’t worth the risk.

More than that, different areas of the building will have completely different requirements when it comes to things like HVAC settings. Kitchens, for example, won’t require the same heating as lobbies. Likewise, swimming pools and gyms will need a lot more ventilation than function rooms.

Green Hotels: How to Become a Net Zero Hotel

Our Energy Saving Ideas for Hotels

Monitor Consumption

To get started, you need to know the efficiency of your hotel as it stands today. What does energy usage look like across your organisation, and which areas of the building show particularly high rates of consumption? By undertaking an energy audit, you should be able to immediately identify points of wastage. For many organisations, energy efficiency improvements consist of low cost quick fixes and longer term upgrades to building fabric and infrastructure. But, without the data to inform your decision-making, prioritising your next actions will be tricky. Whether you choose to install a smart meter, adopt pioneering AI technology, or just keep written records of bills, it’s important to get hold of the facts.

Improve Building Fabric

Insulation can have a huge impact on energy loss, so it’s important to assess this and make improvements as and when you can. For example, you could look to insulate roof spaces and unfilled cavity walls, and make sure there are quality curtains in place that are closed to keep in heat and reduce drafts, or blinds to block sun and avoid overheating in hot climates. It’s also a good idea to properly insulate pipework, including flanges and valves.

If you haven’t already got double glazing in place, it’s worth replacing your windows. Another aspect of the building itself that should be upgraded as a matter or priority is the lighting. LEDs convert the majority of the energy they consume into light rather than heat, providing enhanced performance.

Take Control of Hot Water & Heating

Plenty of energy gets wasted in hotels through mismanagement of hot water and heating. In fact, heating can account for more than 40% of energy use in non-domestic buildings (source). There are a few different measures you can take to limit this. For starters, make sure you have an efficient boiler that is serviced regularly. This will make sure it always operating at optimum efficiency.

There are also ways to reduce hot water waste in bathrooms without diminishing the guest experience. Tap controls, spray taps, and water efficient showerheads can all be used to reduce the amount of hot water used each time, as long as the water pressure is high enough.

When it comes to heating, make sure you set an appropriate temperature for each area. Or, better yet, consider upgrading to a smart energy management system. Using smart technology like AI to maintain optimum comfort indices is a great way to manage consumption without making guests too cold.

Find out how AI can improve hotel efficiency and guest comfort at the same time!

Understand Occupancy

Hotels are about the guest experience, but there’s no point wasting energy on this experience when no one’s there to appreciate it. A key source of energy consumption in hotels is HVAC and lighting even in unoccupied areas. A good solution – particularly for lighting – is to install motion sensors and other occupancy linked controls to turn off lights when not in use. This is especially useful for toilets, storerooms, cellars, function rooms, and other areas with varying footfall. Alternatively, lighting in corridors can be lowered when guests aren’t present – reducing energy usage whilst still adhering to the minimum levels required by health and safety.

Consider Zoning

Zoning is a great way to address the varying thermal needs of different areas of your hotel building. The creation of thermal microzones allows you to control temperature and ventilation much more closely. By adapting optimum energy settings for HVAC devices in different zones, your building will use energy much more efficiently. You can manually schedule settings for each device, or use automation like AI to manage it on your behalf. This is usually the more efficient option, and provides more proactive control. To give you an idea of the savings possible through this method, hotel HVAC systems optimised using our AI technology have seen energy spend reduced by up to 30%.

Think Kitchen & Leisure

Hotels have several ‘hot spots’ of energy wastage including kitchens and leisure facilities like gyms, swimming pools, and spas.

Inevitably, kitchens need to consume large amounts of energy to prepare and cook food for guests. However, cooking equipment and extractor fans don’t need to be on for the entire shift. To encourage staff to be more mindful of energy, it’s worth labelling equipment with minimum heat up times. You should also keep the fridge and freezer doors shut as much as possible, and use correctly sized pots and pans.

Leisure facilities can also be sources of wastage because they are used sporadically throughout the day, with definite high and low points. Try to switch off some fitness machines during these periods, or choose those powered by user activity. For swimming pools, jacuzzis, and spa pools, make sure you have proper covers fitted. These can enable you to reduce ventilation overnight.

Involve Others

Our final tip is to educate and involve your staff. Providing training is a great way to inform key stakeholders about the motivations behind your quest for better energy efficiency. As a result, the entire organisation will be motivated to follow new guidelines and do what they can to contribute.

You should also communicate the project with guests. You could place signs in rooms to remind them to turn off the lights, and have a system where they can indicate whether or not they need towels and sheets washed. This will provide more opportunities to save energy, as many guests will feel daily washing unnecessary. And, what’s more, sustainably minded guests will be impressed by your environmental awareness.

Reduce Hotel Energy Consumption with AI

Achieving significant reductions in hotel energy consumption is easier said than done. Luckily, Arloid has created a smart HVAC optimisation solution capable of achieving 30% savings in just 60 days. And, importantly, all this is possible with zero up-front costs. We’re accelerating AI adoption in the hospitality industry, and your business could be the next one to upgrade. Get in touch to start saving!

Start saving today!

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