Energy saving tips for hotels



On 16th October 2023, the 25th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization began in Uzbekistan. On the occasion of this meeting, 117 countries convened (including 70 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Tourism) with the aim of analyzing the new challenges that the sector will face in the coming years.

This debate focused on one of its fundamental themes: “The Path to 2023: A Vision for a Transformed Sector”. In this regard, the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, asserted that the sector is at a pivotal moment: “We weathered the storm of the pandemic and now we have the opportunity to achieve long-term transformation of the sector and leave a true legacy for global tourism”.

World tourism is on track to reach up to 95% of pre-pandemic levels, nearing the point where the tourism sector represents 10% of global GDP and employs 10% of the global workforce.

An international survey among UNWTO Members for the 2024-2025 Work Programme (WP) and long-term vision revealed a strong focus on innovation, investment in technology, and digital transformation. Additionally, the importance of promoting eco-friendly destinations, diversifying tourism products, sustainability, and measures against climate change was highlighted, along with the need to invest in tourism infrastructure and develop human capital through training and skill-building. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on data-driven decision-making and market trends.

Consequently, from Gradhoc we have decided to address this topic in this article, in which we will talk about sustainability and innovation in tourism and, more specifically, about energy efficiency in hotels. At the end of this post, you can also find a series of energy saving tips for hotels. This, obviously, is not limited to energy saving, as it also implies taking into consideration a set of variables that influence energy efficiency in hotels.

Hotel energy consumption statistics

Hotels are one of the agents with the greatest impact on the communities where they are located due to their socio-economic and environmental footprint, but also because of their intensive consumption of resources (mainly water and electricity).

According to research by UNWTO/ITF, published in December 2019 at COP25 of the UNFCCC, it is projected that, if the current ambitious scenario is maintained, by 2030, CO2 emissions from tourism will increase by 25% compared to 2016 levels. Therefore, it is urgent and essential that the tourism sector intensifies its climate action.

According to a 2017 European Commission report, 40% of a hotel’s total energy expenditure corresponds to electricity consumption and 45% of this amount is spent on lighting. At the same time, the EC estimates the potential savings in lighting to be between 7% and 60%. The WTO and UNEDP, for their part, claim that emissions related to accommodation services could be reduced by 30-40% thanks to the usage of clean energies and new technologies. In fact, the aforementioned text, in this respect, states that almost all renewable energies could be strategical in order to increase energy efficiency in hotels.

Hotel energy management systems

The WTO, through the project called HES (Hotel Energy Solutions), indicates that it is possible to save (at least) from 10% to 15% in energy consumption in hotels, depending on their characteristics. According to the EC, the main areas for improvement are cooling (5% – 30%), heating (15% – 20%), lighting (7% – 60%) and hot water (40% – 70%). Therefore, in the hypothetical case of a facility consisting in 100 rooms, recreational area and swimming pool, it would be possible to reduce energy expenditure by 56%.

However, each hotel has its own individual needs, since characteristics such as location, size, number of employees, type of client, equipment’s status, season, climate or services offered influence the design of an energy efficiency plan. In other words, without an intimate knowledge of the facility’s functioning, no establishment will be able to transform its business model into a truly profitable and sustainable one.

To achieve this goal, hotel chains need to incorporate hotel energy management systems that allow them to access data records and analyses. The digitalisation of the enterprise through a tool that use AI and big data is, consequently, crucial for the optimisation of water, energy and fuel consumption.

Gradhoc is a software developed by seasoned experts in industrial and commercial refrigeration that enables you to monitor your systems in real time (status, consumption, available energy sources, etc.) regardless of their location. From these, Gradhoc generates customised control panels that meet the specific needs of each user, automates processes and creates data records. This, in turn, enables adaptive energy consumption based on operational needs.

By using such software, it is possible to know the total energy consumption, the factors that are to be taken into account for the optimisation of operations, the investment that would be necessary for the implementation of energy conservation technology in hotels, the maintenance needs and the expected gas, electricity and water consumption.

Thanks to this information, the company’s board can establish a course of action in order to implement energy conservation technology in hotels without jeopardizing the service’s quality.

Energy saving tips for hotels

Finally, we recommend the following energy saving tips for hotels:

  • Control the temperature in each area of the hotel individually. Outside temperature varies greatly depending on the time of the year, while inside temperature varies according to activity and occupancy rates; thus, installing smart thermostats, heat pumps and free-cooling systems makes it easier for heating and air-conditioning equipment to work optimally. In addition, the usage of natural ventilation and the maintenance/improvement of thermal insulation of walls, pipes and windows are also of paramount importance to improve hotel energy consumption statistics.
  • Review your hotel energy consumption statistics in order to choose the best tariff available.
  • Identify inefficient equipment that should be replaced.
  • Take advantage of renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, cogeneration or biomass. Air conditioning systems and the temperature control for swimming pools are energetically demanding, but renewable sources can help diminish energy costs while reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Use boilers and fuels with high energy efficiency ratings.
  • Install smart lighting control systems. Light-and-activity-regulated control mechanisms are now available, as well as more efficient fluorescent lamps equipped with electronic ballasts.
  • Control water consumption. Water flow can be limited by using aerator pumps and water flow limiters; furthermore, it is always a good idea to install a manometer to detect possible leaks.
  • Remote management. In order to save energy, measuring the costs and acting accordingly, automating processes, is essential.
  • Encourage eco-friendly patterns of behaviour. The human factor is also a decisive one when it comes to meeting saving targets, which is why the workforce’s commitment must be reinforced through the establishment of environmentally friendly behavioural guidelines.
  • Act preventively. Gradhoc provides detailed data on your systems and equipment, which enables you to predict future needs for repairs, replacement of equipment, etc.
  • In the case of newly built hotels, they have to be designed taking into account certifications such as passive house, BREEAM o Verde, which implies considering variables such as orientation, materials or insulation.


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