Why cogeneration is an ideal fit for the hospitality industry - Steve Farzam

Why Cogeneration is an Ideal Fit for the Hospitality Industry

Cogeneration is also known as Combined Heat and Power, or CHP, and is a highly-efficient grouping of technologies that uses fossil or renewable fuels to supply energy locally. There is a growing awareness that the sustainability of CHP is an ideal fit for the hospitality industry.

Energy efficiency is a top priority in the hospitality industry, seeing as it ranks in the top five for carbon emissions. The hospitality industry spends almost $4 billion a year on energy. Due to the low cost of natural gas and the steadily-increasing cost of electricity, CHP and hotels are a match made in heaven. Since hotels have a high demand for energy and CHP carries the ability to efficiently use heat generated from these systems, the combination makes sense.

CHP provides hotels with a reliable source of energy 24/7, ensuring guests are comfortable and safe. CHP does this by producing simultaneous heat and power all day, every day. CHP can easily integrate into existing heating and electrical systems, and can be designed to operate and continue to provide power should there be a utility outage.

While CHP increases efficiency and reliability, it also improves environmental performance. The power and heat produced by CHP on-site offsets the purchase of electricity and fuel for boilers. Those same reductions reduce the environmental impact of hotels by reducing air pollution via reduced fuel consumption.

Potential customers have also increased their awareness of their green credentials. Evidence has been growing that travelers are choosing their hotel accommodations based on the green credentials they are being offered by the hotel to host them. Guests look for hotels that are green, convenient, and economical. With CHP, hotels are able to reduce their carbon footprint, drastically reduce their energy costs, and increase sustainability, while simultaneously enticing prospective green-guests to stay at their hotel.

CHP technologies have also become more reliable, remaining fairly inexpensive and generating efficiency. The technologies are flexible and offer a wide range of sizing options based on the needs of the hotel. CHP is typically designed to match the thermal demand of the hotel and will usually provide 50 to 70 percent of the electricity needs of the facility.

There are at least 16 hotels in the United States that are already using CHP systems to meet their energy needs. Many of those systems were installed in the 1980s and are continuing to operate efficiently and reliably, atoning to their long-term benefits.

Steve Farzam

How Hotels Are Embracing Sustainability

As concerns about climate change continue to increase, more and more corporations worldwide are attempting to lessen their carbon footprints by promoting sustainability and minimizing waste. This has given rise to the concept of the “green meeting,” or “green event,” defined by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) as an event that incorporates environmental concerns into every aspect, so as to make it more eco-friendly.

As such, it’s important for event planners and hosts alike to incorporate these practices into their own businesses, to make their services more appealing to prospective customers. At the Shore Hotel, we’re proud to embrace our responsibility to the environment, and we’ve already taken a number of steps to help reduce our carbon footprint and act more sustainably. Here are some examples of how the sustainability trend is re-shaping the hotel industry!

Water and Energy Conservation

A good first step toward creating less water waste is the linen reuse program (those tags on the bathroom door that remind guests to hang towels for reuse) that is now an industry standard. A growing number of hotels have also switched to more efficient lighting and heating systems and installed low-flow bathroom fixtures to further decrease water and energy waste.

Recycling Efforts

Guests have long been encouraged to recycle beverage containers, but the movement has been taken several steps further with the reduction of disposable items, such as paper and plastic cups, coffee filters, and the like. Some hotels have even entered into composting programs to help eliminate food waste. In 2012, one hotel cut its diversion rate—the percentage of material diverted from landfill—from 15 to 90 percent with the aid of such a program, making it a “zero waste” facility.

Room Keys

The standard PVC keys—which utilize a highly toxic manufacturing process—are today often made out of more eco-friendly materials like paper, bioplastic, and even wood.

Natural Cleaning Products

By choosing more eco-friendly products—particularly ones that also cut back on the amount of packaging used—hotel chains can make drastic cuts to the environmental hazards caused by the ones containing toxic ingredients. This also decreases the risk to employee health.

Spas and Dining

Hotel restaurants that offer fresh, organic produce and GMO-free meat and dairy products will appeal to a growing number of health-conscious diners. Similarly, the use of natural products in spa treatments will help to strengthen the facility’s aura of well-being.