Sometimes during the hottest summer days the demand for electricity spikes to the point where the electrical grid’s reliability is stressed. Electric utilities face a continual challenge of maintaining a balance between the supply of electricity and the constantly fluctuating demand. An imbalance results in costly power outages for everyone.
What does it mean for hotels?
Large hotels are big energy users with full time, round-the-clock occupancy. That’s not all bad news. In fact, this usually makes hotels great candidates for demand response. When you enlist your hotel into a demand response (DR) program, you’re basically letting the electric utility know that they can count on you to voluntarily reduce your hotel’s energy consumption, in the rare event the utility asks you to do so. The best part is that the utility will actually pay you.
In the past, DR has posed a challenge for hotels; how to reduce energy consumption without affecting the guest experience. However, with today’s automated building energy management systems (BEMS), DR compliance has never been easier to implement or more effective.
Your Energy Needs
Every hotel’s energy portfolio is different so be sure to get an energy audit first. You’ll need to have a complete picture of how your hotel uses energy before moving forward. The energy audit is the first crucial step in developing your hotel’s curtailment strategy. Once you’ve determined how much electric load you’re able to shed, you’ll be able to select the best demand response program options for your hotel. There are three different types to choose from: Emergency programs, Economic programs, and Ancillary Reserves (Spinning Reserves).
Here are some best practices that will significantly reduce energy consumption during the curtailment period and are practically invisible to guests:
- Shut off fans, decorative fountains and other non-essentials.
- Dim or shut off non-essential lights.
- Adjust the heating and air conditioning two to three degrees in common areas.
- Avoid doing laundry or washing dishes and/or engaging in other energy-intensive tasks until after the curtailment period.
- If you have more than one elevator bank, shut one off.
- If possible, switch on backup generators, onsite energy storage systems, or onsite renewable generation sources.
Demand response is recognized as being an environmentally-friendly way of improving grid reliability, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and helping to improve the efficiency of energy generation and distribution systems.
It is an easy way to boost your hotel’s ‘green’ portfolio while contributing additional revenue to your bottom line.
Alternative Utility Services, Inc., established 1993, is a licensed energy consulting company providing services nationwide, including: electric, gas, demand response, reverse auction, auditing, and benchmarking. 800-392-4287
Contributor: David Johnson blogs for multiple companies on issues surrounding energy and the environment. He is also a musician who understands the delicate balance in life, separating harmony and discord, and remembering that all things are connected, including our environment and ecosystem.
This article first appeared on GreeningtheInn.com.
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