Mark Sait, CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon, writes on the GreenWise website, about how much energy can be saved by hotels in Britain to benefit both the bottom line and cut carbon emissions.
How SME hotels can make big energy efficiency savings fast
It’s a shocking fact that in 2015 UK companies of all sizes continue to miss out on billions of pounds in energy efficiency savings.
A recent study published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that that SMEs could save between £1.26 billion and £2.63 billion – 18-25 per cent of annual energy costs – through energy efficiencies with a payback time of around 18 months. These savings would also ensure carbon emission (CO2e) reductions of 8.7-17.6 million tonnes a year, according the study, ‘Research to Assess the Barriers and Drivers to Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises’.
Rising energy bills
The urgent need for businesses to cut consumption of cash draining utilities is clear. Energy bills rose for 87 per cent of SMEs in 2013, hampering their ability to grow, invest and create jobs, according to the Forum of Private Business Cost of Doing Business survey 2013. 48 per cent of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) say energy accounts for 25 per cent to 50 per cent of total business costs, according to the nPower Business Energy Index 2013.
It’s not just the SME sector that is missing out on business benefits from energy savings. Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said at a recent Institute of Directors event that Britain’s big firms are spending around £2.8 billion extra yearly on inefficient energy technologies – equivalent to the output of nearly five power stations.
We know that many simple measures can add up to millions in savings, focusing first on the most effective steps like LED lighting, heating and ventilation controls and water efficiencies using eco taps and eco showers.
We’ve seen dramatic results from our work in the hospitality sector. Industry leaders like Paul Nisbett, finance community chair of HOSPA (the Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT) advise that hotels can save millions of pounds by taking simple measures to save water and energy which pay for themselves within two years.
He has first-hand evidence as chief financial officer of The Hotel Collection, which expects to save £360,000 a year after investing £300,000 in energy and water efficiency projects across its 21 UK hotels.
The Hotel Collection savings
The Hotel Collection worked with SaveMoneyCutCarbon to identify projects which would cover costs within two years: it’s made savings by installing LED lighting, eco-smart showers and tap aerators across its estate, and an intelligent heating and cooling management system at The Hinckley Island Hotel.
The Hotel Collection’s savings of £360,000 a year equate to £128 for each of its 2,800 rooms. If the UK hotel industry achieved only half that across its 600,000 rooms, it could cut bills by more than £38 million every year, while saving significant amounts of carbon to help meet UK targets.
Energy efficiency checklist
- Gather energy and water data, essential for making the right savings decisions as well as for effective measurement, forecasting and monitoring once efficiency changes are made
- Choose LED lighting to cut electricity use by up to 85 per cent which can pay for themselves in as little as 12 months and provide years of future savings
- Save energy and water with eco shower heads, eco taps and tap aerators – cutting water consumption by more than 50 per cent and reducing the energy used for heating and pumping
- Fit smart heating and lighting controls to reduce energy consumption by 40-60 per cent
- Maximise efficiency of pumps and fans with Variable Speed Drives, cutting energy use by up to 50 per cent.