Energy saving hotels in Hawaii
Hotel owners are under pressure when it comes to running their properties. Today, energy savings are a must, but the implementation of appropriate measures should not affect the guests’ comfort. Two hotels in Hawaii realized the perfect balance between guest experience and energy savings thanks to an EnOcean-based wireless automation system.
Keeping guest accommodations competitive and increasing energy costs are just some of the concerns facing the hospitality industry. For hotel owners and operators, fears of compromising guest comfort are often the greatest stumbling block when it comes to advancing energy management. The assumption that energy management solutions adversely impact guest comfort is largely unfounded.
High electricity costs in Hawaii
Particularly in Hawaii, the cost of electricity fluctuates due to variations in the price of imported fuel used in power plants. In addition, while hotel owners in the United States pay somewhere between 8 to 16 cents per kWh for electricity; hotel owners in Hawaii pay around 40 cents – which is a major setback for business.
Wireless balance between comfort and savings
Two hotels in Hawaii decided on a wireless automation system from Verve Living Systems to meet the challenges they face. GreenSavings Hawaii, an experienced systems integrator based in Hawaii, installed entry door sensors, occupancy sensors and thermostats from Verve Living Systems to integrate room level control which automatically adapts air conditioning to the actual need and room occupation.
Based on EnOcean’s energy harvesting wireless technology, the guest room energy management system was highly flexible to install and to configure in short time. This made it easy to meet the hotels’ different and unique needs while balancing the guest experience with energy savings. The hotel owners saw immediate saving effects, and due to the maintenance-free, batteryless solution, they are expecting a fast return on investment (ROI) of just over one year. In addition, the hotels benefitted from rebate incentives from the local energy providers.
Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach
The Courtyard Marriott Kauai is a very popular destination and maintains a high occupancy rate. Therefore, the wireless components needed to be installed in short time to avoid taking rooms out-of-inventory. This limited the number of rooms which GreenSavings Hawaii could retrofit each week. Nevertheless, starting in January 2014, the project was completed only five months later in May. Using a self-powered wireless entry door sensor, occupancy/motion sensor and temperature sensor in each guest room, the hotel staff can now automatically determine room occupancy, set cooling setbacks and initial comfort levels without adjusting the thermostats in each single vacant room. The components were installed unobtrusively and the automated settings meet the individual needs of the guests from the very beginning; so that the guests are not even aware of the new energy management system.
However, the hotel operator is well aware of the 35 percent energy savings, as proven by on-site tests that compared identical rooms with and without the equipment. The Courtyard Kauai is now on track for a 13-month payback even without rebate incentives.
The savings go hand in hand with another benefit: located right on the water in Hawaii, the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach is always concerned about preventing mold. The system integrator was able to configure the guest room thermostat settings to prevent mold while still saving energy by adapting the air conditioning to the actual need.
Maui Eldorado Kaanapali in Lahaina
GreenSavings Hawaii implemented the same Verve energy management system in the Maui Eldorado Kaanapali™ in Lahaina from January to June 2014; but tuned the settings based on actual experience and feedback. Therefore, the optimum temperature settings for initial comfort setting and cooling setbacks are different from the Courtyard Kauai, for example.
The saving effects are similarly impressive: the Maui Eldorado Kaanapali™ recorded savings of $150 000 in its first year of employing the wireless controls. In addition, it received a rebate from its Hawaii energy provider for $38 000.