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The Hospitality Industry is Upping its Efficiency Game…Mostly

hotelEnergy efficient and green operations have caught on in the hospitality sector, at least in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Business Times reports that of the 230 hotels in the Bay area listed at TripAdvisor site, 66 hotels — 27 percent – are in the GreenLeaders program. That percentage easily tops New York City (15 percent) and Los Angeles (8 percent).

The story says that the American Hotel & Lodging Association says that about half of hotels in the Bay area with 130 or more rooms have implemented energy management systems. Just under half – 48 percent – have energy sensors in guest rooms. Ninety percent have LEDs and high efficiency lighting, about 77 percent have water programs and 94 percent have linen reuse programs, which is a big energy saver.

The category is hot. Larry Mogelonsky the Principal Consultant at Hotel Mogel Consulting Ltd., and Chairman of LMA Communications Inc., led off a late 2016 column on what is ahead for this year with energy efficiency:

Whether or not you are a proponent of climate change is besides the point that adopting cleaner, more efficient electronics and equipment can save your property upwards of millions of dollars on your annual energy and utilities bill. To highlight that third word in the first sentence, energy savings are no longer the solely the domain of fringe appliances or incompatible devices. Just about every operation can be more efficiently managed – to name three, laundry units that more effectively recycle water, new OLED TVs that cut down on power usage or smarter thermostats that better regulate room temperatures. There are also guest-facing savings programs like towel reuse, keycard-activated lighting and carbon offset donations, all of which help to some degree and, more importantly, help people become accustomed to this new normal.

The Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., is the subject of a case study at ProudGreen Building. The hotel, which is in the Georgetown section, has a long history. The piece doesn’t go into too much detail, but does provide the flavor of the challenges of upgrading efficiency in a venue that is too busy to close. The hotel, which is in the midst of a two-year renovation, is seeking LEED certification.

It seems that not everyone has gotten the message. WTTW reports that the 98-floor Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago ended up in a tie for last place in Chicago’s 2016 Energy Benchmarking rankings. The lakefront building finished with a score of nine out of 100 in the benchmarking, which was based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star scoring system. Rush University Medical Center also scored a nine, the story says.

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