As time has passed, renewable energy has been adopted by business owners across various industries. Hotels always need to consume a large amount of energy each day due to the number of rooms they have. If you are a hotel owner and are looking to reduce your utility costs by switching to renewable energy, this article is for you! We will introduce 6 ways to take advantage of renewable energy for your hotels and you can choose one or more to use.
Solar energy should sound pretty familiar to you. By installing solar panels on rooftops or on the ground, hotels can generate electricity from the panels. Moreover, the installation period is about 2 to 3 weeks. It is a relatively short process, so hotels won’t have to shut down during the construction period. And the payback can happen as quick as 5 years after installation. What’s more, as solar technology becomes more mature, the costs of solar PVs keep decreasing year after year, making solar energy more affordable, even to small hotels.
Combined Heating and Power
Combined heating and power (CHP), or cogeneration, captures the extra heat as hotel power systems are generating electricity. CHP units will then use that thermal energy to heat up the facility, which reduces heating costs significantly. That thermal energy can also be used to generate more electricity with CHP units. Additionally, CHP units work especially well with tall buildings, like hotels, because they reduce the energy that the boiler system has to generate. The installation time for a CHP system is around 30 days, and its expected ROI is between 4 to 5 years. Similar to solar energy, CHP system is a popular option among hotel owners.
Compared to the previous two options, geothermal energy is more expensive and less popular to hotel owners. However, depending on the hotel’s location, owners could take advantage of geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is stored in hot water underground. It is difficult to use it unless hot water makes it through the Earth’s crust in the form of hot springs or steam. For hotel owners, it is not practical to build a dry steam geothermal power plant themselves, so the best way to use geothermal energy is through natural hot water or steam. Therefore, if your hotel is located in a region that is known for hot springs, you can definitely take geothermal energy into consideration if you want to adopt renewable energy.
According to Society for Sustainable Tourism, biodiesel is becoming more popular and the U.S. have reaped about $4 billion from it in one year. Organic waste can be turned into biodiesel in a plant. The bio fuels can then be used to power vehicles. Using bio fuels may sound a little crazy for some hotel owners because most hotels are located in crowded cities. However, if your hotel is based on a farm or in a rural area, you will have easy access to a large amount of organic waste, which allows you to take advantage of biodiesel once you convert the waste.
Reuse simply means reusing linens, towels etc. in a hotel. Waste management is an important issue at hotels because people normally live in the rooms for only a few days. Hotel managers are required to change the items and clean the rooms before allowing the next guest to move in. As a result, hotel owners can encourage guests to keep their items rather than getting new ones each day if they are living in a room for more than one day. Unlike the other options, reusing items is a simple policy to implement and every hotel is able to do it regardless of the size and location.
Last but not least, hotel owners can take advantage of wind energy if the hotel has access to wind farms. It is expensive to build a wind farm that is able to provide all the electricity a hotel needs, but if the hotel is located in a windy area, this option becomes more practical. Also, as wind technology keeps developing, it will only be cheaper to build a wind farm in the future, allowing hotel owners to use wind energy to cover their electricity bills each month.
Besides these six options we introduces in this blog, there are also other ways to help hotel owners to reduce utility costs, including using LED lights, building automation systems, and more. Just keep in mind, people nowadays do value corporate social responsibility and if your hotel is running on renewable energy, you may attract more customers because people trust you more!