Energy efficient hotels, the road to go

saveSome hotels offering exactly the same services as their neighbours use up to 4 times more energy per board. 

Energy Efficiency is becoming a key issue in Ibiza, and even more so with the current electricity tariffs and the exorbitant price of diesel and gas, which is on an unstoppable upward trend.

The measures that a hotel can undertake to improve the energy efficiency level are many; going from changing the habits of the employees and clients, to modernizing the air conditioning or improving insulation. The integration of solar power systems, which can handle a great part of the electricity and thermal demand or implementation of intelligent controls systems are other interesting options.

A good diagnosis to stop energy wasting

In order to carry out a strategy to improve the energy efficiency, the first step is to make an up to date and real diagnose of the energy consumption of the hotel. Terravita offers energy efficiency audits that analyse the installations and the associated energy consumptions to find out the real situation of the establishment so as to determine which actions are necessary to correct the areas which generate a high expense. The objective of the audit is to get know the energy consumption outline and to identify the possible pathological problems of the internal energy consumption, such as reactive power, harmonics, energy loss etc.

After a complete diagnosis of the energy consumption of the hotel is done, Terravita prepares a plan with the improvements needed in energy efficiency and energy saving, which can be undertaken in various stages.

In which areas can I reduce the energy consumption in my hotel?

In reality energy consumption can be reduced in almost all areas, as much in the amount of energy a client consumes per board, as in the general services the hotel offers. Taking into account that the tourism is mostly seasonal, one can talk about reducing the electricity consumption in air conditioning (primarily cooling), illumination, hot water and insulation to bring the energy demand of the building down, or take other actions like changing windows/doors and of course the installation of renewable energy systems such as solar power which has a greater energy production in summer, which as it happens coincides with the high season. The integration of these systems for producing hot water or generating energy can greatly reduce the energy bills.

Improvement measures

The changing of halogen Light bulbs for LEDs and conventional Light bulbs for low consumption can save up to 70% on lighting. If we add to this, movement detectors the savings could be higher.

There are air conditioning and domestic hot water systems that save up to 70% in energy. Aerothermal heat pumps, for instance are a good investment with a fast payback and if combined with solar photovoltaic energy, gives us exponential savings in hotel air conditioning and domestic hot water.

Other important points are awareness campaigns for both clients and staff to collaborate in the reduction of the energy consumption. Considering that the human factor and the changing of habits are one of the main improvements that can be undertaken with minimum investment it is worth considering installing information boards, electrical metres or CO2 emissions screens which invite to reflect on the amount of energy we use.  Some hotel chains give data on the amount of CO2 that a client generates from the moment he leaves his home to be moment he returns; this raises the awareness on being more responsible with the environment and the way energy is treated.

Saving and distinction

Energy saving leads to a direct reduction on running costs, that is to say; more benefit for the establishments.  However, higher benefits are not the only advantage, also the corporate image of the hotel is improved. The differentiation in the hotel sector in energy management and environmental issues are strong arguments to attract clients.

Water and energy amount to 10% of the operation costs and is the second item line after personnel in a hotel. To be able to act upon these costs one has to invest; the shortest and most unambiguous way is to determine by means of an energy audit which actions should be taken. These improvements should not only point at saving, but at offering a better quality service to the clients. It is not only about improving the environmental impact of the hotel and the reduction of running costs, but to answer a real demand of the modern tourist who is looking for accommodations that respect the environment, and even more so on the island of Ibiza.