What should hotels do this winter with no end in sight to rising energy costs? 

Many hotels are already experiencing 100%+ increases in energy costs, many more are coming out of contract at the worst possible time and may not believe the unit prices they will be asked to pay – and the CRU is planning to penalise large users between the hours of 5-7pm – guess when hotels have peak electricity usage.

(FYI: There is no particular value in chasing unit costs – outrageous and even more outrageous – you need to take professional advice and hold the professionals to account if they get it wrong – if they won’t accept any responsibility, what use are they? And who are they working for? Whoever is paying them – generally it is not you)

Winter is also when hotels reduce selling prices to boost occupancy. Is this viable in 2022 with all input costs increasing – Labour, food, services, etc. and now energy……..the typical hotel uses 3 times as much energy for heating in winter as opposed to summer.  A hotel coming out of contract could see energy costs go up monthly by 400%+– along with substantially reduced disposable income amongst their domestic and especially UK customers.

Can rural hotels survive with low mid-week occupancy? 

Example – a Hotel that had an energy cost of €150,000 in 2019 will probably pay c. €400,000 in 2023 – with no action. Implement actions and the 2023 cost can be reduced by up to 30% – €120,000. This typical hotel (Thats you) should be willing to invest up to €600,000 to secure this saving (The probability is that less than 50% of this could be needed) delivering a 5 year payback.  What are your current energy efficiency capital investment plans?

Every hotel needs to be planning now for winter and consider the economic benefits of staying open through November to February – and/or substantially reducing their consumption costs. Hotels with swimming pools need to consider how they are going to manage (An interesting Irish practice – the majority of Irish Hotel swimming pools do not have pool covers whilst 100% of public swimming pools have pool covers. Why? Complacency and appalling advice is why. Using a pool cover every night can reduce pool energy costs by at least 30% with paybacks now of less than a year. If you are going to stay open this winter GET A POOL COVER NOW)

At least 2/3rds of your energy costs will be over the winter months – if you traditionally lose money over winter it is going to be even worse this year!

If you decide to stay open you must have active daily knowledge of your consumptions so any excesses can be identified and fixed – not waiting for the invoice at the end of the month – it will be too late.

Monitor, monitor, monitor. How? – Meter, meter, meter. If you do not know when and where you use energy – especially electricity – you have no chance of managing it effectively. Reading meters daily really delivers nothing – you need time of day consumption – Install meters immediately and then monitor consumption daily and hourly – this could be the difference between survival and failure. Without real time online monitoring you are wasting your time. Sub-meter the Kitchen and Leisure Centre – take control, stop being passive. Meters save you money!!!!!

Here are our Top Tips

1. Get active, engaged, concerned – stop this passive approach blaming the market  CLOSE OR TAKE CONTROL and lead – most hotels waste 30%+ of their energy purchased through poor management.
2. Stop taking poor/outdated/wrong advice from suppliers who are trying to sell you kit – pay an independent expert for their recommendations and save yourself a fortune.
3. Install Electricity Meters now – Mains, Kitchen, Leisure Centre – online with realtime information – An installed system can cost from less than €1,500 and help save thousands of euro.
4. Convert 100% of lights on for more than 2 hours per day on average to LED – NOW
5. Install a solar PV system (Primary benefits in truth for 2023 but working well from April onwards) where you consume 100% of the output – arrays over 50kW can be funded externally – if there is no cost what are you waiting for? All sorts of green funding are available and paybacks as low as 1 day to 5 years – then 35+ years of FREE electricity

If you want our full checklist of energy efficiency actions email us at Info@greenhospitality.ie