I hear it daily. As operators, have we done everything in our power to have in place the most cost-effective energy policy? We’re talking money saving, as well as improving our sustainability by reducing our carbon footprint.
It’s claimed that within the UK hospitality sector we overspend by £92 million on a turnover of £1.3 billion annually, with carbon emissions of 8 million tonnes a year. These are big, scary numbers. Especially when basic best practice such as only using what you need, turning off cupboard lights and turning down the temperature gauge by one degree, is so simple to implement.
Victus’ top ten energy saving rules for hospitality are:
1. Understanding – Before we can change we must first seek to understand. Understanding and pin-pointing your current consumption, usage, levels etc is paramount. Introduce a consumption monitor to fully understand your usage.
2. Education – Keep your team in the know. Ask staff where energy can be saved, and make sure the night shift understands that they also have a role to play. Ensure that your team knows that their opinion, input and efforts are not just required, they’re invaluable. Energy efficiency should be a key part of staff induction, with regular follow-up sessions and training to review, reinforce and improve.
3. LEDs – Light-emitting diodes use 80% less energy than standard bulbs, and have a longer life span providing 50,000 hours of usage. There’s a cost to introducing such bulbs which has to be factored into your budget and overheads, but the savings are significant and you can rest assured that you’re doing your bit for the environment.
4. Low cost solutions – Items such as daylight sensors can achieve huge savings. These are ideal for toilets, store rooms and function/event spaces. Daylight sensors are a superb product as they do not operate if there is sufficient daylight present.
5. Innovation with HEAT – Many operators are now considering Biomass plants within the grounds of their hotels as a means to heat the property. Although fairly new to the hospitality sector, more and more are cropping up. Some figures show larger operators can save up to £10,000 per month.
6. Energy efficient kitchen equipment – Kitchen equipment has to be as energy efficient as possible as 25% of hospitality energy is consumed within the kitchen. Ideal solutions are low energy dishwashers, induction hobs and cookers. Some induction hobs require 20% less energy to operate, with combi ovens using 25% less.
7. Reclamation – This is the art of turning, for example, food waste into energy. Unused heat from refrigerators can be used to preheat domestic hot water. Energy can be made using used cooking oils and there are many companies on the market now specialising in this.
8. Building design – Look at a property’s insulation to maximise heat being held within the building. Draughts and damp are an evil in any game and need kept away. Cavity wall insulation is always recommended when a property undergoes a refurbishment.
9. Ventilation & extraction – The ventilation system is the Big Daddy of energy consumption due to its crucial role within the kitchen. It’s essential to switch off these units when not in use, adjust the speed settings and turn down the level of intensity.
10. Solar panels – Surveys show that solar panels are one of the most attractive options for the hospitality operator, with immediate reductions in operational costs and more resistance to future energy hikes. The ideal solution is essentially free usage by selling unused, stored energy back to the grid. You could even make a profit!
Victus Consultancy can help you make your business more sustainable by cutting costs and becoming more profitable while doing your bit for the planet. We offer help, support and guidance every step of the way.