Energy and water efficiency can save UK hotel industry millions

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 04 Feb 2016 11:00, Last updated: 2016-02-04
Resource efficiency delivers lasting savings and adds business value

UK hotels can save millions of pounds by taking simple measures to save water and energy that pay for themselves within two years, an industry finance leader said today.

Paul Nisbett, chief financial officer of The Hotel Collection, said the group expects to save £360,000 a year after investing £300,000 in energy and water efficiency projects across its 21 UK hotels.

The Hotel Collection worked with SaveMoneyCutCarbon to identify projects which would cover their costs within two years, and has made savings by installing LED lighting, eco-smart showers and tap aerators across its estate, as well as an intelligent heating and cooling management system at The Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire.

Mr Nisbett, who is also finance community chair of HOSPA, The Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT, said: “Water and energy efficiency should be on every hotel’s agenda as it can generate substantial savings. We are already saving £360,000 a year across the portfolio by implementing simple efficiency measures which do not impact on our guests’ satisfaction.

“These projects pay for themselves swiftly, deliver lasting savings and add value to the business so we are continuing to identify further ways to cut energy and water bills across our portfolio.”

The Hotel Collection’s savings of £360,000 a year work out to £128 for each of its 2,800 rooms. If the UK hotel industry achieved only half that across its 600,000 rooms, it could cut bills by more than £38 million every year, while saving significant amounts of carbon to help meet UK carbon reduction targets.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon works with hotels and other businesses to identify and implement simple measures to cut bills by becoming more energy efficient. It offers a one-stop solution that includes everything from energy auditing, project management and financial modelling, to technology procurement and product installation.

Mark Sait, CEO, SaveMoneyCutCarbon, said: “It makes good business sense to invest in energy efficiency at a time when energy bills keep going up, and our work with The Hotel Collection shows how relatively small investments can quickly generate big savings.

“Most hotels tell us they have already got their house in order when it comes to resource efficiency, but we usually find there is still more that can be done. Heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and hot water account for 80 per cent of the money commercial businesses spend on energy, and in our experience most can make significant savings in all these areas.”

The Hotel Collection began its efficiency programme with the activity that would generate the fastest return on investment - water saving measures across its 21 hotels. It invested £60,000 to reduce the costs associated with the heating and usage of water, which accounts for around 10 per cent of utility bills in many hotels, installing tap aerators and eco-smart shower devices to reduce the flow of water in taps and showers. The group recouped its costs and saved a further £125,000 in just seven months, and the programme is expected to save it £200,000 each full year.

Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) generally accounts for more than half of a hotel’s energy costs. The £122,000 investment in a new HVAC system at the 362-bedroom The Hinckley Island Hotel is set to save the hotel more than £100,000 a year and pay for itself in just 15 months. The Hotel Collection now plans to roll it out to other hotels in the group.

In addition, the Hotel Collection has begun a programme in hotel kitchens to replace traditional light fittings with LED panels and tubes. The programme will cost £110,000 and is expected to pay for itself within two years, saving £60,000 a year on energy costs.

An overhaul of the lighting system at The Hotel Collection’s Daventry Court Hotel has not only saved money but also led to it winning significant new business. SaveMoneyCutCarbon identified and installed a flexible LED solution that delivers bright light for conferences but warmer tones for weddings. The system includes sensors that turn the lights off when the room is unoccupied. The new lighting has a payback period of less than three years.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon has also been working on similar projects with other hotels, as well as companies in different sectors, from warehouses and offices, to schools and hospitals. For example, it has initiated a major LED installation programme across 32 Radisson Blu and Park Inn hotels – a project that will see 145,000 LED products fitted in restaurants, function rooms and bedrooms, saving more than £250,000 a year and paying for itself within two and half years.

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