Smart Building

Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

Author: Josh Alper, General Manager, ZENO Controls and Verve Living Systems
Issue 01-2015: read all articles online read as pdf

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.

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

Immediate energy saving effects and a fast return on investment are two benefits of self-powered wireless devices.

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

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.

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

Hotel owners in Hawaii face high and fluctuating electricity prices. This makes energy-efficient measures at reasonable cost particularly important.

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

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.

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

ZENO Controls Energy saving hotels in Hawaii

Using wireless technology allows the automation system to be flexibly adapted to a hotel’s individual needs.

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.

About Perpetuum

Perpetuum is EnOcean's customer magazine focusing on solutions and products for energy harvesting technology. The technology delivers the data for the Internet of Things in a resource-saving, self-powered and maintenance-free way. In doing so, it enables the smart use of buildings, cities and industrial plants. In the categories Internet of Things, Smart Building, Smart Lighting and Smart Home the EnOcean's partners in particular have their say highlighting their expertise.

Media kit