Many hoteliers immediately fall in awe of the 50 percent that energy management solutions are reported to take off of electricity costs, without considering the repercussions. Truth be told, this rate of savings is not that hard to achieve with the proper HVAC and lighting controls. The question is, at what cost is the hotel willing to get it?
When profits are at stake, it’s easy to forget that the hotel should be the one to cater to the guests and not the other way around. Hotel managers should remember that some scenarios might call for slightly less energy saving measures to ensure that the customer experience is preserved and even enhanced.
Despite how some guests can appreciate a hotel’s efforts to save the environment, others won’t want to have to worry about waiting twenty minutes for the temperature to reach its desired setting, while others will still want to be able to safely charge their electronic devices while they’re away for the day.
Establishments with intelligent energy and lighting controls don’t have to sacrifice their guests’ comfort and convenience for the sake of their energy management efforts. An intelligent system can enrich the guest’s experience rather than detracting from it by allowing room preferences to be pre-prepared by the back-office in anticipation of valued guests.
Some elements that can be integrated into a back-office system include motorized draperies or shades, light dimmers and even electrical sockets that can be deactivated when management decides that some appliances don’t need to be usable at certain times. Other sockets can be left ‘hot’ throughout a guest’s entire stay in order to ensure that guests don’t come back to their rooms to find that their laptop or cell phones haven’t been charged despite being left plugged in.
From a single LCD panel, guests and hotel staff can adjust the lighting levels, control the HVAC system, activate the motorized drapes, or set these all on energy saving mode. From the same panel, guests can also call for housekeeping or opt to specify a ‘do not disturb’ privacy status for their room. In some cases, the panel itself can be customized with different languages, fonts, colors, backlight brightness and more.
Today’s energy management solutions are designed to give hotel managers options without taking away luxuries. Sometimes, these options are the basis for a compromise between savings and service. Rather than being fixated on an abstract number of 50 percent, it takes a healthy amount of foresight to realize that 30 to 40 percent in energy savings is still well worth the investment.