Energy has become a growing point of concern for all businesses this year. And in the hospitality industry, the issue is particularly nuanced. One in four hospitality businesses fear closing, due to the unprecedented increase in energy prices. And with the global energy crisis predicted to continue, we’ve reached a point where decisions have to be made. In some industries, businesses are cutting production to offset the increase in energy expenditure. In others, they’re cutting staff. But for hotels, neither of those actions is really an option. Technology, however, has the potential to provide a solution.
Technology has evolved rapidly in the last decade. And with a growing focus on sustainability, it is now possible for businesses, including hotels, to take a more proactive approach to asset and utilities management. But what tech is available, and is it worth it for your hotel?
Why sustainability tech is the answer for the hotel industry?
When your business relies upon you creating the perfect environment for your guests, reducing your energy consumption can seem an impossibility. You can’t cut down on heat or air conditioning. You have to have hot water and light. All your amenities need to be functioning to the highest level. But what if you could still do all of that while reducing unnecessary energy expenditure? That’s what green technology is all about. By helping you to better manage your energy consumption, the tech puts you in control of your business, helping you to save money while doing your bit for the environment.
What can hoteliers do to reduce energy consumption?
When trying to reduce energy consumption, there are a number of tried and trusted methods available. But once you’ve moved beyond improving insulation and adopting energy-saving lightbulbs, what else is there to do?
You could invest in a new HVAC system. The new systems have been devised to enhance energy efficiency and provide greater control, allowing for the isolation of rooms or sections of your business, preventing the unnecessary heating or cooling of unoccupied areas. Which not only reduces your carbon footprint, but will have an impact on your energy bill – with the potential to reduce costs by as much as 30%.
There are also building automation systems (BAS) and energy management systems (EMS) to consider. BAS provide a way to connect, control, and automate the devices within your hotel. From thermostats and lighting to security systems and door locks. Sensors can provide occupancy monitoring, so you can ensure that lights are switched off when not in use, and climate control can be used accordingly. They are small, unobtrusive, and yet highly efficient. While an EMS works to optimise a hotel’s energy use by automatically controlling lights, air conditioning, and other equipment, and allows guests to optimise their own experience, providing input on their ideal temperature, amongst other things. When used in conjunction with a smart meter, which can tell you how much energy you’re using and when, these solutions give you complete control over the electricity used within your business.
Switching to tankless water heaters also holds potential to reduce energy consumption, by only heating the water you need, when you need it.
Is it worth introducing energy-saving tech now?
New technology can be expensive. And right now, while Covid recovery is still in question for many hotels, and the cost-of-living crisis continues, investment in anything has to be carefully considered. But the thing is, even if the energy crisis subsides, the chances of prices returning to the level of last year, are slim. And with governments around the world moving towards the implementation of sustainability goals for businesses, there will come a time when smart tech is required to avoid penalisation. So, the question is perhaps not whether it is worth introducing energy-saving tech, but how do you do it and when will it be worth it for you.
If your hotel’s energy use seems disproportionate, and your bills are becoming prohibitive, investment now can make sense. Whether it’s introducing a new HVAC system or retrofitting EMS, there are ways for hoteliers to take control of their energy consumption. And save money. Whether you make the change now, or budget for the future.
Saikrishan Ranganathan, CEO of SensorFlow a full-stack company that combines the use of wireless IoT solutions and AI-driven automation to make smart buildings a reality. Starting with hotels, SensorFlow’s solution enables smart building management through maximised energy efficiency, optimised operational productivity, and enhanced sustainability.