Making Your Hotel More Profitable NOW – Strategy #11: Address and Minimize Energy Expenses

Hotels and restaurants use substantial amounts of energy in day-to-day operations. From heating and/or cooling public space and accommodations, to kitchen and laundry equipment that can run for more than 15 hours per day, the meter is always running and affecting your profits.

Optimizing your hospitality business for energy efficiency is not a small task. Depending on the age of your property, investment costs for renovations can be significant, but so can the long term benefits be substantial.

Here are some tips to making your hotel, restaurant or hospitality business more energy efficient:

  1. Go to these or other sites for potential government sponsored rebates or subsidies when considering energy efficient equipment:
  • 2.  Update old equipment. In literally all F&B equipment, the newer the equipment the more efficiently it will operate. Energy Star, a government-run agency promoting energy efficiency, has started rating restaurant equipment based on efficiency standards. Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing new equipment and use the Energy Guide to compare energy usage.
  • 3.  Better manage guest areas heating and cooling. Keeping your customers comfortable should always be your first priority, but there are strategies you can employ to accomplish this efficiently.  Examples include ceiling fans to circulate heat from the kitchen and from solar sources through the dining area. Fans push heat radiating off shared walls and ducts into the dining area. Ceiling fans can also be used to cycle cool air in summer or in warmer climates.
  • 4. Digital thermostats automatically cut heat or air conditioning during non-business hours, potentially cutting energy costs by as much as a third.
  • 5.  Use windows and doors for energy gain, not energy drain. If you are remodeling or building new, look for Energy Star rated windows and doors that either reduce solar heat gain in warm climates or maximize heat gain in cold climates. Make sure all windows and doors are well insulated, and use blinds or curtains (or both) to deflect hot sun or freezing cold situations. Use door closers to minimize loss when doors are opened
  • 6.  Oversee back of the house energy usage. While cutting energy use in the front of the house is beneficial, the real energy drain in many hotels and restaurants is in the back of the house, which means it is also the place to maximize energy savings. Install light switch timers on housekeeping and all storage closets.
  • 7. Train kitchen staff to reduce idle temperatures on ranges, broilers, and ovens. Even though this equipment takes a while to reach peak cooking temperature, reducing the heat during idle times can result in significant energy savings.
  • 8.  Create and use maintenance schedules. Create and post shut down procedures for all the equipment in your back of the house areas, such as the laundry and kitchen. Set a formal PM program that checks parts like thermostats, temperature dials, refrigerator or freezer door gaskets and ventilation ducts. Check regularly and replace on a scheduled basis.
  • 9.  Improve water heater efficiency. Insulate pipes, set the temperature to the proper safe level and program or install a recirculation pump timer. Repair hot water leaks quickly and train staff to only run full loads through the dishwasher and washing machines.
  • 10   Schedule off peak laundry hours. There is little reason to oppressor your in-house laundry during the peak day hours. Running the laundry in the evening or even in the 3rd shift can save energy and help assure that all linens are completed on schedule and available for the change of rooms.

Additional ideas are included from online research aand additional resources devoted to each of the Baker’s Dozen of Strategies to Make Your Hotel More Profitable on

Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS
Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Columnist

* Co-Founder of
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