An energy saving guide for hotels

Energy costs are a significant overhead in each area of the hotel sector. With this in mind, we've put together this helpful guide to help hotel owners and managers make efficient energy decisions.

17 November 2015

There’s no denying that hotels are expensive to run. With many hotels comprising multiple restaurants, laundry rooms and living spaces, the annual energy costs for the hospitality sector exceed £1.3 billion.

It’s not surprising, then, that hotels rank among the top five in energy consumption terms in the tertiary building sector. However, despite the industry’s energy requirements, there are ways hospitality businesses can save on energy costs. In fact, government research shows that big businesses could save over £250 million a year on their energy bills by reducing their energy consumption by 1%. With the substantial financial benefits of limiting energy use, efficient energy management is becoming an essential part of the hotel industry.

The importance of energy efficiency 

No matter the size of your hotel, saving energy can reap big rewards. Aside from reducing your carbon footprint, shrinking your hotel’s energy bill is an easy way to increase your profits without increasing sales.

In non-domestic buildings, heating can account for more than 40% of the total energy usage, so there are hefty savings to be made by regulating a hotel’s heating system. It’s even possible to save up to 20% on heating costs by implementing simple energy saving measures such as setting specific areas to their recommended temperatures, servicing boilers and making sure thermostats aren’t influenced by radiators or draughts.

 hotel energy saving temperatures

Lighting also has a significant impact on a hotel’s energy bill. However, taking simple steps like switching to energy efficiency bulbs can reduce costs by up to 50%. Another quick way of reducing lighting costs is to ensure that lights aren’t being left on in unoccupied areas, although it’s also important to consider the health and safety risks of switching off lights in public areas, such as stairwells and corridors.

Improving a building’s insulation is an essential part of making sure your hotel’s heating system is working efficiently. Around two-thirds of heat from a standard hospitality building is lost through the walls, floor and roof, so upgrading the building’s insulation can help with maintaining temperature control as well as improving comfort for customers by removing draughts.

7 tips for improving hotel energy efficiency

While you may have an idea of where most energy is being wasted on your premises, knowing how to solve the problem is another matter. To point you in the right direction, here are seven tips for improving hotel energy efficiency.

1) Turn down your thermostat

Given heating costs are the biggest contributor to a hotel’s energy bill, finding ways to reduce costs in this area is essential. One easy way to make significant savings is to turn down your thermostat to the minimum comfortable temperature for your guests. In fact, lowering the temperature by just 1˚C can reduce your annual heating bill by up to 8%.

 lower thermostat save money

2) Regularly defrost fridges and freezers

Since refrigeration is used continuously, making sure that the fridges and freezers in your hotel are working efficiently will help to reduce your building’s energy consumption. By keeping refrigeration equipment free from ice, and checking seals to ensure minimum loss of air, you can be sure fridges and freezers are operating efficiently.

3) Install A+++ appliances

If you’re thinking about replacing any appliances, opt for an energy efficient A+++ appliance to save money in the long term. The cost of running a refrigeration system over its lifetime can be several times the capital cost of purchasing it, so always consider the ‘total life-cycle’ cost at purchase.

4) Don’t operate heating and cooling systems at the same time

It may sound a no-brainer, but a vast number of hotels with separate heating and air-conditioning systems will find that they overlap for certain temperatures. To prevent the systems operating at the same time, set a temperature ‘dead band’ of about 5˚C.

hotel temperature ranges

5) Switch to low energy lightbulbs

Low energy lightbulbs, such as LEDs or CFLs, can use 75% to 80% less energy than standard lightbulbs, and last 8 to 10 times longer. Making sure your hotel is kitted out with energy efficient bulbs can lead to significant savings on your energy bill, and reduce the number of times they require changing.

6) Install occupancy sensors

To avoid leaving lights on all over the building, install occupancy sensors that only operate when they’re needed. Sensors can lead to savings of 30-50% on lighting costs, proving an efficient cost-saving measure.

hotel light cost saving

7) Encourage staff participation

Even if you’ve installed the most energy efficient appliances possible, you’ll still be wasting energy if they’re left on all the time. Encouraging staff to switch off electrical items, and to use appliances such as dishwashers more efficiently, can help your business cut back on its energy use.


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Factors to consider when choosing an energy supplier

When it comes to choosing an energy supplier for your business, all of us will be looking for the best deal possible. But, although cost should be a big influencer in which energy supplier you opt for, getting the best deal goes beyond the best price. To help you make a decision about your energy supplier choices, here are a few other things you should consider before you commit.

Are the energy contracts designed for businesses?

When you assess the energy contract on offer, it’s important to consider whether it has been designed with businesses in mind. At Gazprom Energy, we offer a Shield contract which has been created to cater for the needs of small businesses, with capped rates to help you keep on top of your expenditures.

Can I use smart or automated meter readings?

Energy costs can be a burden for many businesses, and many hotels don’t have effective measures in place to monitor their usage. A simple way to avoid paying for more energy than you’re using is to install a smart meter or an automated meter reading (AMR) device that will record actual consumption and sends this automatically to your supplier.

How frequently can I access my account?

When you’re managing your business’ energy bills, having the flexibility to do it at a time that suits you is key. Gazprom Energy allows you to access your online account whenever you need to, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, if you need to submit a meter reading, check your invoices or look back at your historic energy consumption, you can log in and make sure everything’s up to date.

Do they have experience working with businesses?

When choosing your energy supplier, it’s worth considering whether they specialise in providing domestic or business contracts. Gazprom Energy only offers business contracts, and has been working closely with large industrials, multi-site retailers and service providers, as well as small business across a range of sectors, for over ten years.

Interested to find out more about our small business energy products? Visit the homepage to apply for a free no obligation quote, or call us on 0161 837 3395.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.


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