Singapore has earmarked 2018 as the year of climate action and has recently introduced a new carbon tax due to take effect in 2019, there is clearly a large push from all sides to take action against climate change and find suitable sustainable solutions. With the world moving to be more energy efficient and green it can be a daunting prospect of what can be done to make a difference versus how much will it cost. Leading industry professionals are now rallying that hotel sustainability is an issue that should be taken seriously.

As more and more new hotels are being constructed with energy saving solutions built in, the question being asked is how do existing hotels make themselves sustainable without breaking the bank. The main challenge is finding the financial capital to implement the necessary changes needed. Even though statistics show owners fully recover their investment over time, the up-front capital costs needed from hotel owners and investors is significant. It is very common that many years can pass before a full return on investment is seen.

There are more issues than just the cost when it comes to going green, many sustainable energy solutions require extensive structural work or in-depth reconditioning, couple this with the time needed for the installation and hoteliers will find themselves not only closing parts of the hotel but also disrupting guests and losing revenue due to decreased occupancy. Hotels will typically wait for their low period to begin before installing upgrades to their property, this can take up to 6 months and in some cases, for high occupancy hotels there may never be a “right time”. Every property is unique, the strategies that work at one hotel are not necessarily going to be as effective at another. While many hoteliers may find these initial upfront costs and disruptions off-putting, there are long-term benefits that should not be ignored, most notable of these benefits being energy savings.

With IoT expanding more and more into the Hotel and construction space there are more solutions being presented to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient. By using this wireless technology buildings can now be enhanced to improve how they behave and react to their internal and external environments. Many of these solutions bring with them a new level of smart automation which is unrivalled by human interaction. Companies like SensorFlow, for example, provide wireless HVAC automation that taps into your hotel’s infrastructure, they also analyse and optimise the energy flow which enables real-time aircon automation. Couple this with preventative maintenance alerts and system failure detection and you have created an intelligent room that allows staff to respond to issues before guests even notice. Boasting up to 30% savings with zero upfront costs SensorFlow is a step in the right direction for hotels looking to become more sustainable.

A recent study by green hotelier highlighted that hotel HVAC systems are currently responsible for 22% of all energy consumption.

Source: Greenhotelier Environmental Management for Hotels

By taking this research into account, HVAC energy consumption is a sensible place for hotels to start their journey to become more sustainable. By lowering HVAC energy consumption hotels can see immediate savings and also have a positive impact on their overhead and the environment.