A Hotelier’s Guide Renewable Energy Programs
A Hotelier’s Guide to Saving Money and Retaining Guests With Renewable Energy Programs
Leaders in hospitality know that reducing their business’ carbon footprint is important. While embracing energy efficiency and conservation help to reduce overall energy demand, renewable energy programs are needed to reduce the impact of mandatory energy expenditures. But making the switch to renewables is not an intuitive feat. You may be asking yourself questions like:
- What renewable energy options make the most sense for my geographic area?
- Should I invest in on-site renewables or procure energy from the grid?
- How much time and money can I expect to invest in my site’s renewable transition?
To get started answering these questions, it is important to first understand your options in building a robust program. Below are five strategies you might consider to get started on your hotel’s renewable energy journey.
Solar and Solar Canopies
Many hotels and resorts have begun placing photovoltaic solar panels on their buildings and even newly built solar carports and parking canopies. By building and maintaining these canopies, businesses across the country are reaping the benefits. They provide their guests’ vehicles with shade, save money by generating renewable energy on site, and use space more efficiently than installing a standard ground-mounted system. To reduce up-front costs, these solar panel systems also qualify for several federal, state, and local rebates, tax credits, and incentives.
Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Solar parking canopies work hand in hand with another clean energy tactic: electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. EVs are undoubtedly the future of transportation, and by having a solar canopy at your property, you can make your stake in that future. By harnessing the power of the sun to charge your guests’ vehicles, you can effectively reduce your own scope 2 and 3 carbon emissions and attract guests with sustainability.
Purchasing Renewable Energy
If your hotel lacks space or accessibility to renewable energy infrastructure, you may consider purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs). RECs are a way for hotels to offset their carbon emissions by supporting the production of renewable energy indirectly, through claiming the environmental benefit of each megawatt-hour they purchase. To appeal to guests invested in corporate social responsibility, it is best to use this approach to supplement other energy efficiency initiatives at your hotel, such as sensor lighting or emissions-free kitchens.
Energy audits are a valuable tool for hotels to assess their energy use and identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. These assessments typically involve a comprehensive review of a hotel’s utility bills, an analysis of equipment and systems, and an assessment of building envelope and lighting systems. Regularly conducting audits can allow you to continually improve on your energy footprint and decrease your monthly expenses.
Funding and Subsidies Assistance
Nearly every energy utility, in addition to many state and local governments, offers cash incentives to their customers making smart energy decisions. Renewable energy subsidies can take many forms, including tax credits, grants, loans, feed-in tariffs, and renewable portfolio standards. Different subsidies may be available in different regions and countries, and the eligibility requirements and amounts may vary.
Adopting renewable energy programs in your hotel business can help reduce energy costs over time and enhance brand reputation by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. However, we know that this can be a difficult and quickly evolving landscape to navigate.
If you would like guidance on building a renewable energy program at your hotel, contact APTIM’s Client Relationship Manager Christian Dettman at Christian.Dettman@APTIM.com. They are proud to partner with you on your clean energy journey!
Note: For members of Green Key Global members looking to increase their rating, implementing renewable energy into your hotel operations can help.
APTIM is a global industry leader headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With more than 3,000 employees worldwide, APTIM specializes in environmental services, sustainability and energy solutions, program management, resilience, critical infrastructure, as well as technical and data solutions. Our dedicated people have proven experience and expertise to provide integrated services and solutions to government agencies, commercial and industrial clients, as well as energy customers. APTIM commits to accelerating the transition toward a clean and efficient energy economy, building a sustainable future for our communities and natural world, and creating an inclusive, equitable environment that celebrates diversity of our people.