As energy prices continue to rise and enhanced customer expectations further increases the demand for electricity, Dr. Alex Mardapittas, CEO of Powerstar, considers how hotels minimise electricity consumption and costs by utilising smart energy technologies.
Energy costs are continuing to escalate as a consequence of the greater use of technology and the increase in non-commodity costs that are in place to encourage an environmentally-friendly outcome, such as the UK Government increasing the climate change levy for electricity by 45% in April this year 1.
These rising costs are an issue for the leisure industry in general and especially hotels as it both eats into profits and limits the opportunity to reinvest in the hotel facilities to enhance guest satisfaction. It is also the case that the nature of the hotel industry multiplies the issues of higher energy costs that other sectors are experiencing.
This is partly due to the constant flow of guests checking in and checking out combined with the variable way in which people use hotels, some guests may use more energy in the day than at night and vice versa, and regardless of occupancy level, guest comfort factors such as heating, pool temperature and lighting are subject to extensive hours of operation, meaning there is a constant high demand for energy, a contrast to industries such as manufacturing where there may be periods complete shutdown. This issue is further exacerbated by the seasonal and event-led demand that some hotels may experience.
Additionally, customer expectations have risen in line with the increase in technology dependence and hotels must now match this to keep guests satisfied. This can be from simple issues such as offering 24-hour check-in, guests requiring more electrical points for their greater array of devices and greater temperature control to stay comfortable in a certain season to larger issues such as the overall entertainment package of the hotel.
Hotels are keen to minimise the costs associated with day-to-day operation and, fortunately, there are proven and reliable ways of tackling them through smart energy solutions such as voltage optimisation. Voltage optimisation reduces the average voltage supplied from the National Grid, which is typically provided at an excessive 242 volts, to a more optimal level appropriate for the electrical equipment on-site. This reduces electricity consumption, and therefore electricity costs, meaning on average the solution will pay for itself within two to four years of installation.
Additionally, voltage optimisation can be integrated with other smart energy technologies such as energy storage. When integrated into leading energy storage solutions with full site-wide Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) capabilities such as Powerstar VIRTUE, these solutions can provide all of the components of a flexible power future. This is because in addition to the efficiency provided by voltage optimisation, energy storage enhances the resilience of a site whilst delivering the ability to maximise generation to increase energy flexibility.
Furthermore, leading smart energy solutions come equipped with Internet of Things (IOT) led remote monitoring capabilities. These capabilities allow users to view the key performance characteristics of their energy asset at any time and from anywhere with a secure internet connection. This allows for better management of the energy profile and for potential optimisations to be made in a proactive manner, especially across large portfolios.
It is clear that hotels need to be proactive in order to combat the threats that rising energy costs provide. A simple and intelligent way of doing this is by implementing a smart energy strategy by introducing proven and reliable ways of reducing energy consumption and costs and managing this effectively through remote monitoring technology.
Powerstar is a leading provider of UK manufactured smart energy solutions. For more information on its range of smart energy solutions, and how these can be implemented in a comprehensive smart energy strategy, visit the Powerstar website at www.powerstar.com