By implementing energy- and water-saving initiatives, hotels and spas are illustrating how businesses across all industries can reduce their operational costs while cutting their environmental footprint.
As an example, the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel & Ski Resort has spent $250,000 less than it had expected to spend on energy so far this year after rolling out a series of energy-saving improvements that cost about $200,000, reports Green Lodging News.
David Hansen, director of engineering at the 400-suite property, told Green Lodging News that the hotel owners will recover their investment in just 10 months. In addition, Sierra Pacific Power will give the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel & Ski Resort a $10,000 rebate check for its energy-saving efforts.
Hansen said in the article that the hotel could come close to a total of $500,000 in energy savings by the end of 2009. When comparing the first six months of 2009 to the first six months of last year, he said electricity consumption dropped by 575,000 kilowatt hours ($98,902 savings) and natural gas consumption by 9,314 dekatherms ($67,709 savings).
At the top of the energy-saving projects included a Web-based energy management system that allows the property to better manage heating and cooling in meeting spaces, reports Green Lodging News. The hotel also installed motorized dampers on the outside air returns, which allows them to cool the building without air-conditioning during the South Lake Tahoe summer.
Some of the upgrades noted in the article include the installation of variable frequency drives for the cooling and condensing water and heat pump loop, an ozone laundry system, timers for kitchen grease exhaust fans, and lighting occupancy sensors in all offices and store rooms.
The hotel also replaced forty-watt incandescent bulbs in 165 exit signs with 1-watt LEDs, and installed compact fluorescents (CFLs) throughout the hotel. The hotel is also replacing all T-12 ballast lighting with more energy efficient T-8 ballast lighting, according to the article.
The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, Calif., focused on water savings, said it is saving nearly 1,000 gallons of water a day due to its new graywater system and constructed wetlands, reports Green Lodging News.
The new Osmosis constructed wetlands is said to be the first of its kind completed in Sonoma County, paving the way for other local businesses seeking to transform used water into sustenance for gardens, according to Green Lodging.
Constructed wetlands such as Osmosis’ usually can be built at less expense than other treatment options and with low tech, natural treatment methods in place, no new or complex technological tools are needed, reports Green Lodging News. A key advantage for businesses is that the operations and maintenance costs are likely to be less than a conventional treatment plant, according to the article.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., announced it is the first hotel to test a new energy harvester technology that generates electricity from the movement of cars and light trucks. The hotel will field test the newest MotionPower prototype from New Energy Technologies.
New Energy Technologies, based in Burtonsville, Md., said the MotionPower device for cars and light trucks could be installed at high traffic locations such as toll booths, traffic intersections, rest areas, travel plazas, border crossings, neighborhoods with traffic calming zones, and parking sites similar to the Four Seasons Washington test location.