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Hotel Energy Savings

Green is the color of a promising future

April 28, 2015

With recent Earth Day festivities still fresh in your mind, you might be considering new ways of reducing your property’s environmental footprint. After all, going green isn’t just a passing fad.

The green revolution has taken hold in every corner of the professional world, from restaurants and hotels to manufacturing and urban planning. It’s here to stay and the movement is painting a bright future for our planet and for businesses.

If this is your first step toward cleaning up your eco-impact, however, getting started can be daunting. Here are some quick and easy-to-understand tips to get you started on the path toward a greener future:

  1. Place sign cards in guest rooms that encourage guests to reuse their towels. Reducing laundry usage, and therefore water and energy costs, is as easy as that.
  2. Cut energy costs by switching to Energy Star appliances. This is a win-win situation – not only will it help the planet, but it will help reduce your monthly bills as well.
  3. If you place them conveniently, they will come. We’re talking about recycling bins, of course! For a quick and easy green effort, place recycling bins alongside trashcans wherever they are located around your property.
  4. Consider implementing low-flow showers or dual-flush toilets. You’ll gain in several ways – updated modern bathroom fixtures and reduced water usage – all in one fell swoop. Imagine that.
  5. Go green with your lighting. Opting for energy efficient bulbs can save you a significant amount of hard-earned cash down the road. Plus, an eco-friendly bulb like LEDs tend to last longer, which means you save on replacement costs.

Being eco-responsible often means being more efficient and lowering your costs as well. Green is good, and it’s here to stay.

Live Green to Wake Up to A Better Tomorrow

May 30, 2013

go green hotel energy efficiency

We have already written about steps that the hospitality industry is taking to provide greener facilities: Green Lighting for the Hospitality Industry and more recently, Green at Heart: One Brand’s Commitment to the Environment. In this post, we will get more into the details and find out why this is such an appealing, important, and critical move to make.

Before embarking on a quest to renovate your hospitality facility into an environmentally responsible one, or develop an environmental management system, it is necessary to understand some of the motivators in embracing the environment.

Providing a green hospitality facility not only saves you money, it helps preserve the environment and attract more visitors. Additionally, the EPA lists the following benefits of going green: hospitality facilities can reduce costs, achieve environmental results, gain recognition, win new business, and be more attractive to employees.

Although the majority of hotels built today take advantage of conventional design and operation methods common to North America, many of those hospitality facilities are beginning to take advantage of environmental trends in the industry as well.

Unfortunately, many environmental endeavors often do not extend beyond this gesture and only a small number of hospitality facilities have been specifically designed to be environmentally efficient.

Currently, any visit to most hotel rooms will turn up a notice asking the guest to reduce laundry pollutants by identifying the towels used each day, or reduce overall use of certain products that do not necessarily need to be changed daily (if you need these helpful items, just visit our site). But for many hotels, this is usually the extent of their efforts.

It should be acknowledged that hotel guests are usually happy to assist hotels in their green efforts. In fact, guests find this to be incredibly appealing in influencing where they choose to stay. This recent study cites three categories that matter most to consumers: water, energy, and waste reduction.

By taking measures to cut down on all three, you’re not only saving money and helping the environment, you’re attracting more customers. What steps can you take? Consider the following ideas:

  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Use filtered water
  • Provide recycling bins for employees and guests
  • Provide toilets that are dual-flush
  • Consider showers that are low-flow
  • Provide shampoo and conditioner in bulk dispensers
  • Clean your pool with saline salt solution instead of eye-burning chlorine
  • Install green lighting throughout the facility
  • Encourage guests to turn out the lights when they leave their room
  • Turn off air conditioning units when not in use, and be sure to turn them on so the room is comfortable before guests arrive
  • Encourage guests to reuse towels

You don’t have to go all in when just starting out, but small steps will have a big impact. What are you doing to go green?

Green at Heart: One Brand’s Commitment To The Environment

April 24, 2013

sunbeam green

For the Sunbeam® Hospitality team, being sustainable, smart and responsible doesn’t mean giving up any of the comforts we’ve come to know and love while traveling – just being sensible about how we use them.

Anyone want to admit to skipping showers to conserve water?

Don’t look at us – and we don’t recommend you do it, either.

In fact, it’s not even necessary, thanks to the greensense™ line of eco-friendly in-room amenities from the Sunbeam® Hospitality brand.

Launched in 2009, the greensense™ product portfolio has been a guiding light (the low-wattage kind) for the hospitality industry, leading the way with products such as LED dimmable
night-lights and flow-rate-regulating showerheads, potentially saving millions of gallons of water and thousands of hours of energy usage along the way.

Jennifer Hansard, Group Marketing Manager for Sunbeam® Hospitality, loves talking up the line wherever she goes: “I’m constantly amazed at how changing little things – like changing a faucet aerator, for instance – makes an enormous impact on our use of natural resources.”

Hansard isn’t the only one enamored with the lineup. Hotel managers that took part in the test launch had good things to say about the products – and the savings they were able to achieve from usage. Plus, their guests now had yet another reason to love staying at those particular hotel chains.

“It would be great if all hotels thought like this,” wrote one guest. “Going ‘green’ just makes so much sense on so many levels, from environmental stewardship to the financial savings that hotels can pass along to us as guests.” In fact, an average 150-room hotel can save up to $26,000* annually – in water and energy savings – just by converting to the current ensemble of greensense™ products.

As we all continue to share the responsibility of conservation, it’s nice to know that, thanks to brands like Sunbeam® Hospitality, we won’t have to give up any of the conveniences we’ve grown accustomed to – especially the showering.

*Savings based on average energy and water use of a 150-room hotel with 67% occupancy converting to a greensense™  showerhead, aerator, iron, hair dryer and night-light.

You can’t see it, but it’s everywhere: how lighting can change a room

April 5, 2013

hotel room lighting

Have you been truly enlightened to the effects that lighting can have on a room?

The type of lighting used and the way that lighting is used can have drastic effects on a room, affecting the tone, mood, and personality of not just the space, but also the people inhabiting that space.

Determining the right type of lighting for a room is a matter of finding the balance between functionality and personality.

The first step, however, is to assess the amount of natural daylight the room receives and which cardinal direction the room faces to figure out how much daylight the room receives during the different seasons, thus determining the type of lighting the room needs.

For example, a north-facing room will only receive the minimum amount of natural daylight, even in summer. During winter months, consequently, that room will probably be dark after mid-day, so more lighting fixtures with a higher luminescence will be needed.

With this said, it is probably apparent that lighting a guest room will be vastly different than lighting a breakfast bar or lobby.

Here are some important tips to consider when lighting guest rooms:

  • Guest rooms should be calm, relaxing, tranquilizing, and inviting, and perimeter lighting accomplishes just that. Consider dim lamps or uplighting in the corners of the room or indirect lighting that illuminates the ceiling.
  • Guest room lighting (bedroom lighting) must be able to go from a subdued ambience to bright task lighting for dressing, reading, and other activities. Use a combination of general and task lighting that matches your guests’ needs. Dimming controls give guests the flexibility to vary the light to their immediate needs.
  • Lighting should give the illumination needed to dress and see into drawers and closets easily. Lighting for closets is best done with recessed or close-to-the-ceiling fixtures that won’t get in the way in a tight space.
  • Next-to-bed lighting is often done with table lamps and recessed lights, which can provide the light needed while leaving end tables open. Dimmer controls on next-to-bed lighting can change the room’s ambience to suit the guest’s mood, or lower the room light for TV viewing.

Here are some general tips to shed light on your lighting endeavors:

  • Most rooms need three light sources.
  • Overhead lighting, with the exception of chandeliers, is usually too harsh. Instead, try table lamps, floor lamps, uplighting, and spots.
  • If the room is for reading, place a good reading light in all the appropriate places.
  • If the room is for romance, put your lights on dimmers.
  • If the room is made for partying, uplights are fun and a little dramatic.
  • If the room is for showcasing art, spotlights put the focus on it.
  • Use CFLs wherever possible.
  • All fixtures within a space should have bulbs of the same color temperature. A 3,000 – 3,200K bulb provides a warm color tone without distorting colors. Bulbs over 5,000K have a cool, blue tone and distort interior colors dramatically.

With all this talk about lighting, it may be helpful to go back and reread our blog on Green Lighting for the Hospitality Industry, which illuminates the details on different types of lighting and the various effects they produce.

Green Lighting For The Hospitality Industry

February 1, 2013

green lighting for hospitality hotels

Lighting is a powerful design tool that can craft a space and affect emotions. Hospitality is one of the original commercial areas that always understood the importance of proper lighting design. To this end, hospitality projects can be some of the most creative and inspiring to take part in, but there is more to consider than design and creativity.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting represents 40% of the average commercial building’s electric bill. Furthermore, according to the EPA Energy Star Program, U.S. hotels spend close to $4 billion on energy costs each year and are the fourth most intensive users of energy in the commercial sector. Lighting accounts for nearly 25% of electricity consumed by hotels and for more than 40% in guest rooms alone.

Wouldn’t it be a bright idea to reduce energy costs?

Green lighting and energy-efficient products are not exclusive to 2013. Most if not all of us are quite familiar with them, but let’s take a look at some of our options.

Incandescent & Halogen

While the legislation debates continue feverishly, the fact remains that we will lose some of the more inefficient filament lamp types soon. Where incandescent or halogen lamps may still be preferred due to aggressive dimming or color requirements, make sure to use the highest efficiency version available. Halogen lamps are more efficient and last longer than incandescent lamps. Infrared-conserving halogen lamps are even more efficient.

Fluorescent Systems

Linear fluorescent systems are the workhorse of back-of-house spaces, as well as many common areas and bathrooms. With very high efficiency and lamp life ratings now achieving 60,000 hours, these systems are outstanding, cost-effective solutions for any area.

Induction Fluorescent Systems

A newer technology, some early induction lighting installations have outperformed their 100,000-hour predicted life rating. Available in a wide range of colors and power packages, the high-color rendering induction lighting systems are ideal for extended-use applications, such as in lobbies, atriums, parking lots, and signs, particularly where luminaries are mounted at great heights.

American Hotel Register and You – Working Together to Go Green!

April 10, 2012

At American Hotel Register Company, we recognize the importance of instituting environmentally friendly practices into all aspects of our business. Our Living Green program is designed to support the environmental responsibility of the hospitality industry by developing and sourcing environmentally preferred products and packaging, by educating customers about environmental issues, and by making our corporate headquarters and regional distribution centers as environmentally efficient as possible.

Going green conserves the environment and saves money! Today there are hundreds of products available to support your sustainability program and a variety of tips that can be implemented to increase your hotel’s environmental awareness while saving money.

Here are just a few:

  • When thinking about saving electricity with lighting, not only should you convert to more sustainable lightbulbs in lamps, but convert overhead commercial lighting as well. Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs and use 75 percent less energy— meaning that one bulb can save you $25 over the lifetime of the bulb.
  • Use refillable soap and shampoo dispensers. Eliminate those little plastic bottles and wasted product!  Please consider donating opened toiletries to organizations in need rather than discarding.
  • Provide 100% RainforestAllianceCertified Coffee for your in-room coffee program. Guests will love the superior flavor – and each cup brewed ensures local coffee farmers fair wages and working conditions.
  • Why not offer beverage glasses in guest rooms rather than disposable plastic cups? Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll save money on supplying hundreds of new cups every day.
  • Purchase pre-laundered towels and sheets and eliminate initial laundering expenses. You’ll enjoy reduced energy, water and labor costs, too!

We invite you to take a look at more of our great Living Green tips on our website. By implementing a few easy changes, together we can make a difference in conserving natural resources.

ENERGY STAR estimates for your hotel

March 21, 2012

ENERGY STAR estimates that the 47,000 hotels and motels in the United States spend an average of $2,196 per available room each year on energy, an amount that represents about 6 percent of all hotel operational costs.

Since hotels and motels operate 24 hours a day, and numerous electronic devices operate around the clock, there are ample opportunities for hotels to significantly cut energy spending.

Let’s use commercial dishwashers as an example. Dishwashers that have earned an ENERGY STAR rating are 25 percent more energy efficient and water efficient on average than standard models. An ENERGY STAR commercial dishwasher can save businesses an estimated $850 annually on energy bills and $200 annually on water bills – and that’s just for one!

This ENERGY STAR dishwasher from American Hotel Register is not only competitively priced, but offers a fast 160-second wash cycle time and the excellent Jet Tech reputation.

Although commercial dishwashers and many other large appliances have a fairly long life expectancy (ranging from 10-20 years depending on the appliance and quality), upgrading your equipment to an ENERGY STAR appliance could pay for itself in nearly two years! Using environmentally preferred products is another way your hotel supports the environmental responsibility of the hospitality industry.

Check out what other items are featured on the American Hotel Register Living Green product page – we’d love to help you increase sustainability in any way possible!

Save Green By Going Green

December 26, 2011

save money by going greenYou’ve probably seen more than one article on how to save money while making your property greener. In today’s tough economic climate, these ideas are more relevant than ever. Here are a few:

  1. Convert lighting to compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs ). There are an average of five bulbs used in each guest room alone. Have you reviewed your lighting needs lately to ensure you are maximizing CFL usage and reducing energy costs? According to Energy Star, qualified bulbs like CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  2. Install ceiling fans to circulate the air. This allows you to raise the temperature on your air conditioning.
  3. Reset thermostats. You may be surprised to find out that you can increase or decrease the settings a few degrees without anyone noticing. Also, do you have the thermostat set the same 24 hours a day? Is there a reason for that?
  4. Adjust temperature limiters on PTACS to save energy and money.
  5. Install low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads to limit water flow. Most guests won’t notice this, but making the switch will reduce overall water usage.
  6. Keep your money from going down the drain! Make sure toilets are working properly. Install new flappers or fill valves. Some systems can save up to 3,000 gallons a year!
  7. Display linen re-usage signage. Placing reminders in guest rooms asking guests if they need their linens washed every day is a simple, but effective way to reduce laundering costs.
  8. Don’t just use Energy Star-qualified lightbulbs, switch to Energy Star appliances as well for significant energy savings over the life of the product.
  9. Use microfiber products for cleaning. They clean effectively with fewer chemicals and can remove up to 98% of surface bacteria.
  10. Switch to concentrated forms of sustainable cleaning products versus ready-to-use. This saves money since you aren’t paying higher shipping costs for the increased volume of product, and it reduces your carbon footprint too.

 

If you’re already putting some of these “green” money-saving ideas into practice, I applaud you! If not, please consider incorporating as many of them as you can into your daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance schedules. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to include them, and the savings can really add up.

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