By Korosh Farazad – Entrepreneur, Investor, Author and Speaker – Founder of the Farazad Group (www.farazadgroup.com)

How can operators secure favourable contracts, manage costs effectively, maintain comfortable surroundings and control costs?

With soaring bills and energy prices hitting the roof, many operators are seeing a 300% increase in their running costs. Within the hospitality industry, there are a multitude of ways that hotels can reduce their energy consumption and in return, reduce running costs. These steps are crucial in order to stay profitable without having to hike up the price per room which could have a knock on effect on revenue streams.

Automate the lighting and appliance
Invest in lighting that can adapt and change in real-time based on your energy needs related to occupancy and typical patterns. For example keep all the lights on in the hallway during peak hours which usually occur in the afternoon and early evening hours. But in the quieter period, hotels can keep every other light on instead. Using motion sensors, light switches in storage rooms and back of house will reduce lighting usage, as well as getting an energy management system installed to turn air conditioning off in empty guest rooms.

Install Smart Water Management
Saving on water is also key to reducing costs. Do this by regularly monitoring toilets for issues (such as leaky faucets and wasteful running) and have any problems repaired straightaway by a maintenance team. For example, do irrigation systems for the hotel grounds and gardens use treated water? Do irrigation systems for the hotel grounds and gardens have timing devices fitted to minimise operating times or have a procedure to follow for manual watering?

Optimise HVAC System
Using smart climate control to get the optimal temperature range in guest rooms, common areas, back of house etc. This should be done in conjunction with minimising the number of appliances and lights in use unnecessarily. When it is time to renew the ageing electrical equipment, upgrade the HVAC system for greater efficiency as new technology can help you cut the total energy costs.

Hotels that leverage technology to save on their energy costs ultimately will be more profitable and better able to adapt to the ever-changing technological landscape

Educate and Promote the sustainability to your guests

By providing information and encourage guests to follow energy saving practices, hotels can save money by:
• Advising them to reuse towels
• Creating a bed Linen changing program
• Reminding them to turn off lights and air conditioning
• Suggestion for optimal room temperature ranges
• Provide guests tips for water saving and educate them about how they can make a positive contribution to local conservation efforts

Staff training
Your staff are the residents in the hotel. They know the area very well. Encourage the team to come up with ideas on how the hotel could reduce energy use. Staff training such as how to reduce energy, water and waste, for example water saving practices. Train, empower and educate the team to understand the local environmental sustainability issues and the pressures on local utilities during peak season.

Showing staff that they are supporting making their local area more sustainable, through reducing the usage of energy, will encourage them to support your eco-friendly approach. Hotels can train their housekeeping staff on energy maintenance. Efficient cleaning techniques reduce chemical and water costs. For example one less toilet flush every time a room in a 250 rooms can reduce energy consumption significantly

Waste Management
Reporting on the amount of food wasted can help hotels make better decisions on purchasing, prepping, storing, menu engineering and portion sizing. This means it’s important to streamline F&B to reduce waste. Make sure the staff do not over prepare the food and make sure recyclable items such as cardboard, plastic, glass, metals, food waste etc. are collected separately.

Considering Renewable Sources of Energy
Solar Panel Technology – With today’s innovative and advanced technology, one of the best sources of energy comes from the sun. If the hotel has a solar panel installed on the rooftop, it could significantly reduce the hotel’s energy consumption. There is a large initial investment, however the savings over the years will combat this and result in not only lower bills, but also a greener output. Wind, bio, gas and other non-fossil fuel sources of energy can also be captured on site and used.

Energy-efficient

This seems obvious, however, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs (LED) can cut costs drastically. Hotels can also consider outsourcing laundry to an eco-friendly third-party vendor or even setting specific hours of operation for F&B can lower energy costs.

Monitoring and Reporting
At the end of the day it is always important to analyse your cost expense and billing trends in detail. Determine when the most energy is used during the day. This way you can examine which processes consume the greatest amount of energy and where the biggest savings can be made.

Also, predictive monitoring enables engineers to predict maintenance needs based on system usage, prevent system failures and reduce the costs of operating a faulty system. Rather than waiting for a component to break down before being replaced or repaired. Equipment serviced regularly to ensure it is functioning efficiently. Monitoring is now a core requirement for a number of Environmental Standards.