How effective are your energy-saving measures?

It’s good to see so many hotels doing their bit for the environment. What concerns me is how ineffective these measures appear (from a customer’s perception at least) – despite the potential positive impact on their bottom line at a time when most could do with a boost. Some do have good intentions – re-using towels, key cards for lighting and AC, but without the necessary staff training I fear these do little.

These are some simple suggestions for hotels based on my recent observations:

  • Train reception to issue only one key card per guest – to avoid one being left in the room all day (Last week I was issued with 2 and told one was for the lights….).
  • Train chambermaids to switch off all lights after servicing the room and allow the guest to determine which lights they want on (especially in mid summer).
  • Train chambermaids to only replace towels clearly left for replacing (9 times out of 10 all are replaced regardless).
  • Train chambermaids to switch off TV’s in rooms rather than leaving on stand by.
  • Train porters and cleaners to switch off lights and heating in rooms at the end of the day.
  • Train chambermaids to turn off heating in rooms in summer or turn down to a reasonable temperature in winter.
  • Train restaurant and bar staff to switch off TV’s in restaurants and bars when empty (why do we need TV’s in every corner of the bar anyway, especially when music is playing already?).

What you save on power will probably soon pay for these longer term measures:

  • Fit sufficient towel rails to hang up used towels separately to keep used and unused apart – otherwise all have to be replaced regardless at the end of your stay.
  • Allow guests the option to open windows for fresh air instead of being obliged to use AC.
  • Install movement sensors in meeting & function rooms.

And that’s just on front of house. Who knows what savings could be made BOH?

Were you aware that there are interest free loans available from the Carbon Trust? You may be able to get a loan for upgrading some of your facilities to save energy and money, as well as enhancing the guest facilities. Qualifying projects include upgrading air conditioning, boilers and heating systems, building and pipe insulation. More information can be found here…