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Holiday Inn ‘Green’ Signage Yields $4.4M Savings Annually

holidayinnThe Holiday Inn brand is undergoing a $1-billion global makeover — touted as the largest in the hospitality industry — that will save the company an estimated $4.4 million annually in lighting costs.

As part of the makeover, a redesign of the iconic brand logo required new exterior signage at more than 3,200 locations that will now incorporate energy-efficient, long-life GE Tetra LED lighting systems. By replacing neon and fluorescent lighting with LED lighting systems, the company expects to save $3 million annually in maintenance costs and $1.4 million in energy costs, according to a press release.

The signage project involves more than 20 sign manufacturers creating 9,300 channel letter and box signs. The GE Tetra LED systems used in this program include Tetra Power White and Tetra MAX for channel letters, and Tetra PowerGrid for box signs. All three lighting systems last up to 50,000 hours and are compliant to the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, containing no lead or mercury.

Holiday Inn expects to cut energy usage by more than half and achieve an estimated 52 percent reduction in kilowatt hours with signs lit an average of 12 hours per day, 365 days per year. That represents an estimated reduction of 8,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually or the equivalent of planting more than 2,300 acres of trees per year, according to the company.

In addition to new signage, the makeover also includes new outdoor lighting, building exterior updates and new landscaping. The relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand is scheduled for the end of 2010.

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4 thoughts on “Holiday Inn ‘Green’ Signage Yields $4.4M Savings Annually

  1. We have done a lot of comparison tests based on energy consumption, light degradation & material costs. This is nothing more than marketing and propaganda sold and bought by Holiday Inn.

    They may save on energy costs but the actual return on investment over the original cost to buy GE Tetra LED’s versus a high quality Tri-phosphor CCFL or neon lamps will take them 41 YEARS just to break even on annual saving energy costs.

    They will be rebranding in that 41 years I’m sure at least four more times and having to retrofit every 8-10 years in that time.

    Spending more money than they thought was possible.

    So where is the saving?

    But those 20 companies will be making some money in the mean time so who’s gong to complain from our electric sign industry.

  2. If we disregard the cost element and the payback for the sake of discussions (now that the decision has already been made by the stake holders), i would still consider it as a good sustainability initiative which if pursued with passion, dedication and commitment, would help the environment in whatever small way it can.

  3. I have a big problem with this marketing scheme put on by GE.

    I run TheSignSyndicate.com, the only dedicated electric sign industry community website composed of electric sign makers and component manufacturers.

    None of us know where these crazy figures are coming out where Holiday Inn Hotels are going to save money. According to my figures (and I do this for a living) vs. up front costs, it’s going to take 41 years just to break even on the return investment of retrofitting these signs from neon or making new signs. By then Holiday Inn will have probably re-branded 8 more times. The 50,000 hour claim for GE’s modules will have expired over four times over(being generous), so look to retrofit over four more times.

    If a holiday Inn franchisee is reading this and would like to know what they will be paying versus savings, please feel free to contact me. I would like to start a project for all to see and study for themselves. Many of us who are in the electric trade would love to assist in this. Please email me admin@thesignsyndicate.com

    There are a bunch of electric sign shops such as myself over at the website who would be very interested to hear from GE and where they got their facts. We have GE Members at our site and have not heard from them.

    I have already posted my figures plugging it what it will cost to use GE’s modules, I’ve asked them to prove me wrong. So far it’s crickets out there.

    Erik Gastelum

  4. This is a provocative article, but its missing some important detail.

    Of that $1B being spent on “new outdoor lighting, building exterior updates and new landscaping,” how much of that is being spent on signage alone? I’m not sure how some of the other respondents are able to calculate a break-even point when we don’t know the signage budget.

    The main issue that seems to be overlooked in the comments is global uniformity and government regulation. When undertaking a sign changeover of this scale, its imperative that everything is up to code… in every country. Apparently, neon and flourescent lights are not in compliance with the RoHS directive, due to elevated risk from mercury and/or lead. Hell, even vinyl is suspect because of the cadmium in it. Same with PVC.

    On January 1, 2010 California Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act goes into effect, basically enforcing the same code as RoHS. So, it seems as though Holiday Inn is just being proactive in anticipating future code compliance issues.

    Its also important to remember that rebranding is not about saving energy. Rebranding is a recurring marketing expense. Saving money on the lighting and repair bills is just a bonus. Keeping toxic chemicals out of our living environment can be a good thing, too.

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