How to improve energy efficiency in the hospitality industry

01 November 2023

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How to improve energy efficiency in the hospitality industry

As a business in the hospitality industry, improving energy efficiency isn’t so much an option the industry can help itself – as well as its guests and customers – by improving the way it goes about energy efficiency in a number of different ways.

Below we’ll offer up advice and information on ways to improve energy efficiency in hospitality industry-related businesses.   


How much energy does the hospitality industry use?

The hospital industry requires a lot of energy to power its operations. But of course, just how much it uses will depend on factors such as the facility size, as well as the types of services offered. A hotel, for instance, won’t just have guest rooms, but amenities like on-site restaurants, swimming pools, spas and bars too – all of which involve energy-intensive activities to run.

ONS data cited that nearly three in five food and drink service businesses said energy prices were their main concern in November 2022. Of those, around 76% said energy costs were making them consider price increases.

What’s more, according to the Carbon Trust, energy used in catering specifically accounts for 4-6% of operating profits. With that in mind, across hospitality energy saving approaches are a significant activity to undertake.


How to improve energy efficiency in the hospitality industry

Alongside the financial and customer service benefits, improving energy efficiency in the hospitality industry brings about a range of social and environmental positives as well.

If you’ve already carried out an energy audit of your site, and put some quick-win solutions in place, then make sure you’re optimising your efforts even further with the following approaches and methods…


  • Ensuring you have a robust energy efficiency strategy

If you’re serious about them, then getting your energy efficiency plans in place is essential. Not only does it make your business’ actions clear and provides you with a pathway to follow, it can future proof its operations by taking into consideration emerging technology like solar, wind and other renewable approaches.

By showing the commitment to energy management and sustainable practices, a business energy strategy also shows how the business is being more compliant with wider legislation and policy, which will ensure you avoid fines too. For more information on why business energy strategies are important, and how you can create and implement one, check out our resource on the topic here.


  • Investing in solar heating

For sites with swimming pool or changing facilities, then solar water heating can add to a significant amount of heating throughout the year – with the remainder taken care of by a conventional heating system. They’re also relatively easy to connect to a conventional heating system – though make sure you have the means to pay off the projected payback period. Talk to the manufacturers, or an industry expert, ahead of time before you decide it’s right for you.


  • Smarter heating systems

Speaking of heating, you can build on the simple adjustments you’ve probably carried out by upgrading to smarter heating systems. Take thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), for example. TRVs are a simple control valve that can manage the heat output from radiators they’re attached to based on occupancy.

In the case of crowded pubs, restaurants and hotel common areas, TRVs can reduce the amount of heat from radiators as these spaces fill up with people’s body heat. Elsewhere, compensators can automatically regulate indoor temperatures based on the weather outside. Optimum start controllers also use weather to learn how quickly a building reaches its optimal temperature, turning on the heating prior to it becoming busy.

Night setback controls scale back temperatures at times when rooms aren’t in use. In hotels, for instance, such controls can turn down heat in corridors, lounges and stairwells between times when most guests will be asleep.


  • Load shifting

Used by industrial and commercial sites for years, load shifting is a strategy the hospitality industry can benefit from too. Essentially, load shifting involves moving electricity consumption from one time period to another – the idea being that such a move makes for cost savings that are greater than the loss of production, since it reduces the strain placed on the grid during peak periods.


  • Investing in a Building Energy Management System

If your premises are on the larger side, then a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) is well worth investing in. A network of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, BEMS gives building and facilities managers closer control of their premises’ performance, which is shown in real time through a single computer display. Controlled simply through this display, where changes can easily be made, BEMS could help to reduce total energy costs.


  • LED lighting and sensors

If you haven’t switched over to LED lighting yet, then we’d highly recommend that you do. It’s among the most effective lighting types, is very long lasting and can be easily controlled. What’s more, they have no warm-up time either, and their price has come down greatly of late, which makes them an affordable option. But even if you’re replacing all of your current lighting with LED, then the savings you make mean you’ll soon pay off that investment, too.

You might also consider using LED lighting in conjunction with occupancy sensors. In the hospitality sector, staff and customer movement isn’t always the most predictable of things. And the constant movement means that lighting might not always be switched off.

Occupancy sensors, on the other hand, can create significant savings in the region of 30%. And there’s plenty of different locations you can use them in: toilets, function rooms, banqueting suites and backroom areas only accessible to staff, such as store-rooms, offices and cellars.


  • Regular servicing of boilers and pipes

Have your boilers regularly serviced by a reputable firm at least yearly (or twice yearly for oil boilers). Doing so could potentially save 5% on annual heating costs, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland – and make it less likely that they’ll break down, too. You should also insulate any boilers, hot water tanks, pipes and valves so that heat doesn’t escape either.


SEFE Energy is one of the UK’s leading business energy suppliers, helping thousands of businesses manage their gas and electricity contracts. To find out more about what we can offer your business, visit the homepage or call us today on 0161 837 3395.

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