A key economic strategy for the hospitality industry is the implementation of hotel energy management systems. With the continual rising cost of energy, it is a crucial time for hotels that want to survive into the future to consider the many benefits of a hotel energy management program. There are many effective ways for hotels to practice energy management, and our goal has been to remove barriers to entry so that hotels can easily implement energy conservation strategies to maximize the amount of energy that is saved.

In today’s economic climate, hotels, resorts and conference centers need new ways to reduce operating expenses. HVAC and lighting costs represent two of the largest uncontrolled operating expenses in the hospitality industry, making electricity usage an excellent target for cost reduction. A typical hotel room is vacant roughly 70% of an average day—suggesting that a considerable percentage of energy used to heat and cool spaces is wasted on empty rooms. The challenge is to decrease energy usage without negatively impacting guest comfort.

Most commercial energy management systems are schedule-based and optimized for central plant control. They are not useful for spaces like guest rooms that have unpredictable occupancy patterns. New technology exists in the form of thermostats that have internal passive infrared (PIR) and motion sensors, light sensors, a real-time clock, multiple inputs for remote sensors and contacts and a powerful internal processor to aggregate all this data to understand if the room is occupied and control room temperature at predetermined levels. The thermostat is networked to a central command center that manages the data from all connected thermostats to manage an entire facility and report operating trends. This type of system can also be integrated with a hotels' property management system (PMS) to determine sold or unsold room status for additional energy savings by going into a deep setback mode. Additional features like a recovery time algorithm manages unoccupied room temperature to a time frame of minutes it will take to return the unoccupied room temperature to the occupied temperature setting rather than a temperature-based setting. The advantage being the recovery time-based system considers time of day, solar gain, drapery position, indoor vs. outdoor temperature and other factors and can recover to the guest's temperature setting quicker than other systems.