Hotelier’s Guide: Five Ways To Retain Guests With Renewable Energy Programs
If you are struggling to make your hotel business more sustainable, here are five ways you can save money and drive sales through renewable energy.
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTOR:
Christian Dettman, CHA, Hospitality Client Manager
APTIM | Environment and Sustainability
Christian is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) who proudly guides the hospitality community toward clean and sustainable goals. He is an environmental advocate and passionate about all things hotel, resorts, and restaurants. Learn more about Christian here.
Leaders in hospitality know that reducing their business’ carbon footprint is important. While embracing energy efficiency and conservation help to reduce overall energy demand, renewable energy programs are needed to reduce the impact of mandatory energy expenditures. But making the switch to renewables is not an intuitive feat.
You may be asking yourself questions like:
- What renewable energy options make the most sense for my geographic area?
- Should I invest in on-site renewables or procure energy from the grid?
- How much time and money can I expect to invest in my site’s renewable transition?
To get started answering these questions, it is important to first understand your options in building a robust renewable energy program. Below are five strategies you might consider to get started on your hotel’s renewable energy journey.
- Solar Panels and Solar Canopies: Many hotels and resorts have begun placing photovoltaic solar panels on their buildings and even newly built solar carports and parking canopies. By building and maintaining these canopies, businesses across the country are reaping the benefits. They provide their guests’ vehicles with shade, save money by generating renewable energy on site, and use space more efficiently than installing a standard ground-mounted system. To reduce up-front costs, these solar panel systems also qualify for several federal, state, and local rebates, tax credits, and incentives.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Solar parking canopies work hand-in-hand with another clean energy tactic: electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. EVs are undoubtedly the future of transportation, and by having a solar canopy at your property, you can make your stake in that future. By harnessing the power of the sun to charge your guests’ vehicles, you can effectively reduce your own scope 2 and 3 carbon emissions and attract guests with sustainability.
- Purchasing Renewable Energy: If your hotel lacks space or accessibility to renewable energy infrastructure, you may consider purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs). RECs are a way for hotels to offset their carbon emissions by supporting the production of renewable energy indirectly, through claiming the environmental benefit of each megawatt-hour they purchase. To appeal to guests invested in corporate social responsibility, it is best to use this approach to supplement other energy efficiency initiatives at your hotel, such as sensored lighting or emissions-free kitchens.
- Energy Audits: Energy audits are a valuable tool for hotels to assess their energy use and identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. These assessments typically involve a comprehensive review of a hotel’s utility bills, an analysis of equipment and systems, and an assessment of building envelope and lighting systems. Regularly conducting audits can allow you to continually improve on your energy footprint and decrease your monthly expenses.
- Funding and Subsidies Assistance: Nearly every energy utility, in addition to many state and local governments, offers cash incentives to their customers making smart energy decisions. Renewable energy subsidies can take many forms, including tax credits, grants, loans, feed-in tariffs, and renewable portfolio standards. Different subsidies may be available in different regions and countries, and the eligibility requirements and amounts may vary.
Partnering With APTIM’s Hospitality Solutions Team
Adopting renewable energy programs in your hotel business can help reduce energy costs over time and enhance brand reputation by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. However, we know that this can be a difficult and quickly evolving landscape to navigate. If you would like guidance on building a renewable energy program at your hotel, contact me at Christian.Dettman@APTIM.com. We are proud to partner with you on your clean energy journey!
APTIM is pleased to be partners with Green Key Global, the preferred environmental certification body designed for the hotel industry. Through our more than 30 years of experience, we have honed our subject matter expertise, adaptability to the changing landscape, and long-term partnerships, yielding outstanding customer satisfaction.
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