Are you keeping your hotel assets running in great shape with regular energy efficiency tune-ups? As most new hotels get ready to open their doors, engineers perform a commissioning process to observe building systems and make sure everything is operating at optimal efficiency.
But buildings also stand to benefit from retro-commissioning followed by regular re-commissioning across the asset lifecycle—typically every three to five years. Studies have shown that re-commissioning can save a typical 100,000-square-foot hotel 10 to 15 percent of its energy costs, or roughly $20,000 per year. This is accomplished by resetting existing controls to reduce HVAC and other energy waste while maintaining or even increasing comfort levels for occupants.
That’s a huge boost to net operating income (NOI) and great news for hotel owners and operators. According to MACH Energy’s 2016 Hotel Industry Survey: Energy and Water Management Best Practices, reducing costs and improving guest comfort are the top reasons to incorporate a sustainability and energy management program for hotel operations and engineering teams. When it comes to energy-related priorities, 93 percent of respondents selected the reduction of energy and water costs as one of their most important energy goals, and 63 percent cited improving customer satisfaction as a top priority.
Common Area Conundrum: Evaluating Hotel Energy Costs
Common areas are a great place to start when it comes to retro-commissioning a hotel asset. As a focal point in the hotel and hospitality customer’s experience, common areas represent a first and last impression of every individual hotel’s unique character, service level, and value proposition.
They’re also energy hogs. Outfitted with mood lighting, water features, and optimized for total HVAC comfort despite the constant opening and closing of the front door, common areas consume massive amounts of energy dollars. And while hotel owners and operators typically know their common areas down to the square foot, many remain disconnected from just how much energy it takes to keep them running.
According to the MACH survey, nearly a third of hotel operators don’t know the relationship between their common area energy use and their energy costs. Some of that uncertainty may be a result of hotels not using an energy management system (EMS) to collect data on the energy use of each section of a hotel.
For progressive hotel operation and engineering teams using an EMS, 55 percent say their favorite feature is the ability to monitor energy use in real time. That’s second only to the 79 percent who said reducing energy costs was their favorite feature.