Find programs in your area

Enter your postal code:
For Business > Features > Accommodation sector seeks energy solutions

Accommodation Sector Seeks Energy Solutions To Improve the Guest Experience

The accommodation sector is facing challenges to operate more efficiently, drive value, lessen their environmental impact and create better surroundings for guests. One way to achieve all these objectives is to pursue energy initiatives.

 EES_1_4.jpg  EES_2_4.jpg EES_4_4-(1).jpg
On November 21 in Toronto, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), Save on Energy and Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) put the spotlight on accommodation as part of the Energy Efficiency Series, held at the Westin Toronto Aiport Hotel.

What’s at stake? Making progress on energy conservation is about no less than keeping your brand competitive, said Alexandra Campbell, Director, Alliances and Marketing.

One of the sessions highlighted the incentives available in electricity and gas. There are plenty of opportunities that address the spectrum of energy services. By sorting through the options and the impact, the accommodation sector can make the business case for investing in energy improvements.

Local electric utilities in Ontario offer Save on Energy programs, paying for up to 50% of energy-efficient upgrades. Gas utilities, meanwhile, can help with laundry and foodservice energy costs by providing incentives for ozone laundry installation and steam cooker retrofits.

Safi Junaid, Enbridge’s Energy Solutions Consultant for Hotel & Long Term Care, discussed the beneficial impact energy efficiency programs can have on it.

Junaid gave examples of how the accommodation sector can improve operations and get a rapid return on investment. He described a demand control kitchen ventilation project that would cost $72,000 with a payback expected in just over three years. In this case, the Enbridge incentives would be $10,000 and the annual savings would total more than $14,000. Another project, a boiler retrofit, would be eligible for almost $13,000 in incentives and save more than $21,000 a year.

Delegates heard from energy experts on the latest technologies to reduce consumption, costs and emissions – things like energy-efficient LED lighting, heat pumps and controls. While the savings can be significant, panelists suggested that those in this sector should also be considering the positive effect on guests.

One of the technology panelists, a lighting provider, noted the importance of giving a great first impression to your clientele. LED lighting, for example, can help guests feel safer or more comfortable. Access to hot and cold water is obviously essential in a hotel setting, and booster pumps and water pumps can make that process quick and efficient.

Industry and supplier representatives also offered energy-saving case studies in accommodations that have leveraged capital upgrades and Save on Energy incentives to pay great dividends. Howard Swartz, a Key Account Consultant for Toronto Hydro, described one back-of-house conversion: 1,310 T8 lamps to LEDs operating around the clock. The project cost just over $30,000 and the estimated energy savings are $25,000 a year. The incentive came to just over $8,300, resulting in a payback of less than a year.

Some upgrades are even free. Swartz cited a 262-room hotel that received variable frequency drives (VFDs) through their PUMPsaver program. In this case, the project cost was zero, and the turnkey solution promises to generate about $11,000 in annual savings.

Another 115-room hotel, Swartz said, is opting for Energy Star mini-fridges in the rooms. The project cost almost $20,000, with a $3,000 incentive and estimated savings of almost $10,000 a year – a payback in under two years.

A larger-scale heat pump project involved a 95-room hotel that’s currently using PTAC units. Here, the replacement cost was $180,000, plus a $20,000 upgrade to the pumps, with a $40,000 incentive. The enhanced net operating income: $16,500 a year.

Overall, the array of projects presented and demonstrated the many financial, guest experience and environmental energy-efficiency opportunities. For this sector, that’s a triple win.
© 2018 Independent Electricity System Operator. All rights reserved. OM Official Mark adopted and used by the Independent Electricity System Operator
jQuery UI Accordion - No auto height