As most people were confined indoors as a result of the lockdown in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for energy commodities has dropped by 25 to 30 per cent according to KPMG in India estimates. However with summer right around the corner, energy consumption is likely to see a spike during the peak months. Keeping in mind the impact that energy consumption has on the environment, hoteliers took this time to re-strategize their operations with enhanced smart technology to build a greener business model.
The hotel sector has increased focus on energy consumption and that has accelerated the evolution of smart building technologies that curb energy wastage/consumption through conscious efforts. Environment sustainability in the hospitality industry has evolved over the last few years with hotel chains taking into cognizance the fact that the industry plays a pivotal role in protecting the earth’s resources. Experts are of the opinion that green building technologies can help the world prepare for a future in which pandemics may be more common. In fact, the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) president Dr Ho Nyok Yong made it loud and clear at a webinar in May last year when he said, “Think of green buildings as giant N95 face masks, protecting you from harmful toxins the moment you step inside.” In addition to this, consumers today have become more conscious of their habits by choosing sustainable experiences
Considering the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality industry, cost of utility and energy consumption while also considering environmental impact, is a matter of concern, making it imperative that Hoteliers today take proactive measures to evaluate energy consumption patterns. At the same time, it is also important to implement a robust set of practices to ensure our hotels are energy efficient without compromising on customer experience. Among the various factors that contribute towards energy consumption the larger share comes from – air-conditioning (45 to 50%) followed by lighting (14 to 18%) and the rest by kitchen equipment, plumbing equipment, refrigeration and elevators. To reduce and control energy consumption, let us consider the following essential factors:
To optimize the energy used for cooling, hotels need to be equipped with omni sensors that automatically detect occupancy and recalibrate temperatures in the respective guest rooms. This helps saving load and results in lighter electricity bills. Apart from this, hotel premises must also be installed with Pressure Independent Balance Control Valve (PIBCV) for Fan Coil as well as Air handling Units to provide initiate further savings.
At Chalet Hotels’ properties our HVAC plant rooms have incorporated additional measures like high efficiency chillers, inline pumps and low approach cooling towers with variable frequency drives with plant room optimizer for lower energy consumption. As a result consumption of HVAC plant room reduces by more than to 15 to 18%.
Hotels need to adapt to efficient lighting systems with LEDs instead of incandescent or CFL lighting. At Chalet Hotels, sensor-based lighting tools enable in delivering significant energy savings while also ensuring quality of service and comfort for the guests. Smart controls in rooms are environment-friendly tools and save energy by 15-20%.
Kitchen equipment, plumbing equipment, refrigeration and elevators: With the use of smart technology, energy-saving devices are able to perform several actions that lead to energy efficiency. For instance, walk-in and deep-freezers use smart technology to read and adjust temperatures according to the food stored in them. This reduces the load on the compressor and leads to lesser power consumption. Furthermore, hotels can implement Preventive Maintenance Schedule for refrigeration systems that are monitored online to avoid any mishaps.
Besides the factors stated above, it has become imperative for hoteliers to invest in modern infrastructure like green roofs and energy efficient windows. Energy efficient windows (Double glazed triple windows) reduce noise levels inside the room and solar radiation. Apart from ensuring overall energy efficiency, these help streamline operations, enhance employees’ productivity and provide improved guest experience. There are a number of improving energy efficiency opportunities in hotels today and IoT (Internet of Things) based solutions have made these simple and affordable. Hence we train and sensitize our staff on the need to conserve energy and the importance of working towards a sustainable future. Finally, we ensure that our guests are made aware of various measures the hotel is taking to minimize its carbon footprint and how they can contribute to the effort.
Adoption of technology and involvement of all stakeholders has helped Chalet Hotels in building a sustainable future while driving profitability which will result in energy efficient building models, as has always been company’s motto.