Hotel energy use

Understand the baseline to predict savings opportunities

Baseline

Establish a starting point, with an understanding how you got there.

A baseline establishes a historical description of the energy use and cost data.  It must be normalized to be useful, and for hotels it’s advisable to use weather, area, rooms, room nights or guest nights, food covers and events at a minimum.  

 

Understanding what the building energy use has been, and why it has been that way is critical to making predictions and targeting savings.    

Energy consumption intensity in hotels

 

Hotels each have unique characteristics that could influence energy use – location, size, age, occupancy rates, number of kitchens, pools, spas, onsite vs offsite laundry etc.  Therefore it’s not possible to do a direct comparison of one hotel to another hotel or even to compare one hotel to itself year over year.  Too many variables can change and create a false positive or false negative in the analysis.

Alert Energy runs multiple variable regressions on our client’s data to find the main energy drivers and opportunities, but for the purpose of this report we rely on high level publicly available data.

 

According to Energy Star Portfolio Manager, as of January 2015, the (calculated) annual site energy use intensity for hotels is between 28.25 kBTU / sqft (5th percentile) to 109.21 kBTU/sqft (95th percentile) with the median value of 59.37 kBTU / sqft.  This is based on a survey of 8,326 hotels in the US, through 2013.  Some improvements may have been made over time within these hotels.

 

This publicly available data is normalized to floor area and weather only.  It does not take into account room occupancy, food covers, how many pools and spas are on site etc.  Therefore, comparing your hotel to this benchmark should be done with this in mind.

Regulated benchmarking disclosure data on hotels

Numerous cities in the USA now require large buildings to monitor and report energy and water use, and this data is published.  Hotels often have to report this data.

In fall 2016 we published a report on the data about hotels in 5 cities.  In that study of almost 400 hotels, we found the following site energy use intensity (ekWh/sqft) across the regions:

 

Mean Median Maximum Minimum
30.43 28.98 122.21 2.78

 

This data is reported from actual hotels, and uses Energy Star Portfolio Manager, but shows a very different range from the Energy Star data sheet on hotels referenced above.

 

The full report by Alert Energy is here:  Benchmarking hotels – a report on data from 5 cities

Other benchmark data on hotels

 

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration has published a study of energy and water benchmarks for hotels in different regions.

We’ve pulled out some locations data and graphed it here:

The graph shows the low / mean / high data points of the Energy Use Intensity (ekWh / sqft) for hotels in selected cities.

 

This data is also not normalized to anything except floor area so it may not be relevant for direct comparison, but does show a range of where building energy use could be on a per square foot basis.

 

Alert Energy has other data about energy consumption and demand in hotels from all over the world which we utilize in service to our customers to help refine baseline comparisons.

Predict

Reduce risk and uncertainty by predicting where energy goes.

Most hotels do not yet have submetering in place, though it is increasingly common to monitor various outlets and tenants.  Hotels do often have data such as room nights, guest nights, food covers and events that we use to predict how energy is used.

 

We also utilize data about the building systems as a predictor of energy use.  Our goal in doing so is to narrow down possibilities where energy may be wasted, and finding ‘low hanging fruit’, while simultaneously developing multi-year strategy for capital and operational planning for cost savings.  

Energy end uses in hotels

Every hotel is different when it comes to energy use.  Based the most recent Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) , lodging buildings in the United States use energy in the following proportions:

Energy end uses (kBTU / SQFT)
Electricity end uses (kWh / SQFT)
Natural gas end uses (kBTU / SQFT)

Note that the CBECS designation of “lodging” contains many other uses besides hotels (including residential and senior care facilities, prisons), and so it is skewed on the high side of energy use in hotels. 

When we audit specific hotels, we have a process in place to define end uses more accurately than the survey data above.

Having predictions on energy by end uses allows us to better isolate and target energy cost savings in your hotel.

Target

Knowing how, why and where energy is spent, we target opportunities for improvement.

By systemically isolating energy use factors, opportunities for improvement arise.  We prioritize these based on ROI, alignment with owners strategic priorities, planned asset renewal and useful life expectancies of systems.  

In getting to this point, we have followed many rigorous industry standards set by certification bodies  – this enables us to rely on accurate measurement and verification processes which means the energy savings are highly probable, will be monitored for corrective actions and can even be financed, used for engaging in shared savings agreements and insured – posing very little risk to the owner / operator.   

 

Targeting savings in a hotel is done on a case by case basis – no two hotels are really alike.

We often see opportunities in the following areas:

  • Lighting
  • Ventilation systems
  • Water heating
  • In-room controls
  • Kitchens
  • Refrigeration
  • Pools and spas
  • Load shifting

ALERT

Our software and team of experts monitor energy on a regular basis and ALERT you when there's an issue that needs attention

By systemically isolating energy use factors, opportunities for improvement arise.  We prioritize these based on ROI, alignment with owners strategic priorities, planned asset renewal and useful life expectancies of systems.  

In getting to this point, we have followed many rigorous industry standards set by certification bodies  – this enables us to rely on accurate measurement and verification processes which means the energy savings are highly probable, will be monitored for corrective actions and can even be financed, used for engaging in shared savings agreements and insured – posing very little risk to the owner / operator.   

 

Information about your buildings energy use flows into our system and our software and team keep an eye on it so you and your team can focus on core operations.  We are your outsourced energy management team.  

 

Find out how Alert Energy reduces waste in your hotels

 

 

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