Hotels’ energy costs are the most noteworthy aspect in profit and loss accounts, from 3% up to 6% of the operating costs come from them. Besides, in many cases, energy efficiency is far from being achieved, and for this reason, a series of investments could lead to considerable energy savings.

There are a few fundamental aspects to focus on. The first one is the HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Heating and air conditioning are key elements in these establishments, since the clients’ welfare depends to a large extent upon them. It does not mean that expenses have to be carried out without judgment. Quite the opposite, considerable energy savings can be achieved regarding hotels’ HVAC without detriment to clients, provided that a few measures can be introduced, such as thermal insulation for buildings, use of heat pumps, temperature and ventilation control and regulation, or the substitution of central heating oil for natural gas, amongst others.

Together with HVAC, the production of domestic hot water is another of the most important energy costs in hotels, both of them coming to be 50% of the energy consumed. Therefore, it is important to install systems as the ones designed for the project “HVAC optimization for substitution of air conditioners and heat recovery for domestic hot water”, which has proved the efficiency of aerothermal heat pumps that use renewable energies to produce hot or cold water for HVAC, and at the same time, provides with domestic hot water in its recovery system for free. Hotels taking part in the project reduced their HVAC costs by 34% and the production costs of domestic hot water by more than 47%, thus fulfilling up to 70% of their hot water needs.

Many are the projects promoting energy savings in hotels, since it is an aspect that highly concerns owners, regarding not only costs, but also environmental care. For instance, there are online tools making energy consumption calculation possible for hotels, the search of the most sustainable energy options, and the estimation of the investment they need, as well as its profitability and the return on investment period.

Lighting systems, lifts, laundry and kitchen systems are also aspects open to improvement aiming to achieve energy savings. Even the substitution of the establishments’ access doors for automatic doors might be one first step regarding this commitment to energy efficiency.

As far as all these options for improvement are concerned, technological innovation is the key to get to reduce hotels’ energy costs, as well as betting on renewable energies and biomass. High efficiency boilers, control and monitoring solutions or efficient HVAC are some aspects that can be incorporated.

Besides, Spanish owners can make use of the Plan for the Restoration of Existing Buildings promoted by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), which offers 125 million euros in aids and non-refundable grants up to 30% for comprehensive interventions that favour energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies.