Converting Energy Into Savings _savings

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          International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI)

Converting Energy Into Savings
May 13, 1996

Reiner Boehme, Inter -Continental Hotels’ Vice President,
Engineering, offers an action plan to help transform an energy
guzzling power-mad hotel into one with a serene green
environmental conscience


In conservation terms this simply means that the potential for
savings is that much greater. Typically 65% of the total annual
utility costs are for electricity and 20% for other energy sources
such as fuel, gas or heating. The average 300-room hotel spends
about US $500,000 per year. In many countries strict air emission
regulations have resulted in large investments by energy
producers, increasing costs above inflation.


Inter-Continental Hotels’ commitment to environmental concerns
and the potential financial savings, produced a programme of
action which reduced consumption and costs worldwide by 21% or
almost US $15 million during the last seven years ; despite higher
standards. Some hotels achieved reductions by up to 40%.

Inter-Continental found that good energy management involved:

-Everyone’s participation ; it was important to utilise the ability and
knowledge of staff. Don’ be afraid to charge internally for such

-A thorough energy audit ; find out what you use

-Establishing benchmarks* ; measure your policy against fixed

-Reviewing tariffs ; implement peak demand control and negotiate
for lower charges

-Adjusting your controls ; ensure your mechanical, electrical
systems reflect the many constant changes in occupancy, weather,
time of day, day of week, activity level etc.
-Having a master plan ; each department should list and identify
conservation opportunities

-Reviewing expenditure ; how well planned purchasing can also
help you to conserve

-Constant monitoring ; goals ; feedback ; awards.

-Careful energy management ; there should be no savings at the
cost of guests’ comfort or that of employees. Ensure that
operational requirements or safety codes are not violated.

Benchmarks ; an excellent tool to evaluate consumption and
determine waste. Convert fuel, gas & district heating into kW h and
calculate net calorific values. For fuel/gas burnt in boilers deduct
approximate 20% loss. Determine net available hotel area (minus
wall thickness and shafts) in square metres. See table below for
suggested benchmarks.

Large hotel with laundry

Electricity kW h/sqm

Good: <165

Fair: 165-200

Poor: 200-250

Very Poor: >250

pool, kitchens, air conditioning

Energy kW h/sqm

Good: <200

Fair: 200-240

Poor: 240-300

Very Poor: >300

Medium hotel w/o laundry

Electricity kW h/sqm

Good: <70

Fair: 70-90

Poor: 90-120

Very Poor: >120

Medium hotel 50 to 150 rooms, limited AC
Electricity kW h/sqm

Good: <170

Fair: 170-210

Poor: 210-250

Very Poor: >250

Small hotel, 4 to 50 rooms

Energy kW h/sqm

Good: <60

Fair: 60-80

Poor: 80-100

Very Poor: >100

Electricity kW h/sqm

Good: <150

Fair: 150-180

Poor: 180-210

Very Poor: >210

Take advantage of the opportunities for saving energy

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consumes about
25 TO 45% of total energy costs of a hotel (depending on climate)

-Operate equipment in accordance with actual loads. Shut off
equipment not required

-Schedule operating time of ventilation systems to time of day and
week. Convert fixed air volume systems to variable air by installing
frequency converters

-Operate secondary chilled, heating water systems and cooling
tower fans on variable speeds

-Disconnect small loads from large chillers or boilers ; convert to
self-contained independent operating systems

-Repair all inoperative or malfunctioning automatic controls

-Install thermostatic valves on radiators

-Create a zero energy band ; no heating and cooling between 21
TO 23C

-Insulate piping systems

-Install building automation systems to control Heating Ventilation
and Air Conditioning systems

-Check design efficiency of chiller water circuits. Check condenser
and evaporator approaches (temperature difference with cooling
and chilled water outlets to be less than 4¼ C). Poor water
treatment and air inside chillers can reduce efficiency

-Operate chillers, pumps, tower cells only at levels needed to
satisfy the load. Close valves of equipment not in use

-Check combustion efficiency of boiler systems. Should be 80 TO
84% (American/English) or 88 TO 92% (European)

-Install dual pressure control on steam boilers, where in-house
laundry exists. After closure lower pressure for hotel water,
heating, or kitchen steam

-New hotels or major renovations should provide heat recovery for
all air systems with large volumes of outside air and long operating
hours. This will also help in improving indoor air quality by using
larger amounts of fresh air.


-Saving hotel water results in lower energy use ; see Green
Hotelier Issue One

-Heat can be recovered from air, water, lost steam to pre -heat air
or water in a hotel.


-Combined heat and power systems achieve 80% total efficiency
with a payback of approximately between four and ten years
(depending on appliance).

Lighting (15 TO 25% of total electricity consumption)

-Replace incandescent with fluorescent lamps which use four times
less power

-Install timers and reduce lighting levels by splitting circuits. Walk
through the hotel, especially at night, to find opportunities

-Install motion detectors for corridors, public toilets, locker rooms,
cold rooms, baggage room, loading bay, health club, workshops,
offices, function rooms

-Install photocells for exterior lighting and combined with timers to
shut off when not required
-Use dimmers to control lighting levels

-Install reflectors and reduce wattage. Use translucent lamp shades

-Remove or reduce unnecessary lighting

-Key-card operated master switch shuts off all lights when guest is


(10 TO 20% of total energy consumption)

-Do you have the cheapest energy source? Gas is usually one third
the cost of electricity

-Centralise operations ; fewer kitchens and less equipment

-Operate only fully loaded equipment ; energy consumption is the
same with partial loads

-Implement benchmarking to check efficiencies

-Turn off equipment not being used

-Close steam, hot water supplies after working hours

-Save water ; it is expensive to deliver, heat and treat

-Purchase energy efficient and environment friendly equipment


-Review tariffs

-Implement peak demand control for electricity and district
heating, where applicable. Demand charges can be a major cost
factor so negotiate for lower-peak charges

-Install capacitors to improve power factor, where charged.


An excellent opportunity to improve inherently poor energy
efficiencies or resolve technical problems. Make environmental
friendliness a central criterion.