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Saving Money, Energy, And The Environment

Three new reports by the Center for energy and Climate Solutions show how hotels , data centers , and big box retailers can add millions to their bottom lines through technologies and practices which help the environment.  

HOTELS

The hotel industry is the fourth most intensive user of energy in the country.  Companies like Starwood (a major hotel chain) can cut their energy costs by 25% or more.  Overall, $500 million could be saved and brownouts reduced by improving energy efficiency in hotels.  

“Because of the 24/7 nature of the hospitality industry, hotels consume enormous amounts of energy,” said Joe Romm, CECS Director.  “The hotels we have worked with have been able to use money they were spending on energy and reinvest it to make their properties more desirable.”

  • Savings from energy efficiency improvements in Starwood Hotels is the equivalent of increasing corporate profits by $3.4 million.       
  • Recent upgrades to Hotel Queen Mary’s (Long BeachCA) air conditioning system will save $100,000 per year.       
  • Red Lion Hotel will save $40,000 per year on water and energy because of an innovative recycling project at their central laundry facility.  

Reducing energy costs while continuing to meet the diverse requirements of hotel customers can be challenging.  But it is a valuable investment that makes financial and environmental sense.  

Energy Efficiency Opportunites: The Lodging Industry

DATA CENTERS

“We are shifting to an economy based on computers and information, but our old electric power system is not necessarily ready for it,” said Joe Romm, Executive Director of CECS.  “We must make smart technology choices in order to protect data centers, which play a central role in the digital economy, from losing money and essential information.”  

U.S. businesses lose $50 billion per year due to power outages.  Reliance on the traditional power system creates a 63% chance that there will be at least one major power failure over the 20-year economic life of a data center.  One 72-hour outage caused eBay to lose a large fraction of their vendors, and resulted in a long-term decrease of their stock price.   

Designing for energy efficiency can reduce energy costs and air pollution by 50%, all while improving the bottom line.  CECS’s technology strategies have been shown to improve the performance of data centers and reduce air pollution by cutting energy use.  Data centers can cut their energy bills in half and protect computers and other electronic equipment from crashing at the slightest disruption in their supply of electricity.  Since this model is cost-effective and ready for widespread adoption, it provides an opportunity to ease our transition from an industrial economy to a digital computer-based economy.  This report outlines steps that data centers can take steps in order to avoid potentially catastrophic financial losses.  

Data Centers, Power, and Pollution Prevention

BIG BOX RETAILERS

With increasing market pressures, there is a limit to how much profit retail mega-stores can squeeze out of every square foot.  Supermarkets and retail stores that continue to ignore energy efficiency opportunities in favor of building and operating “cheap” are limiting their profit potential and wasting money in the long run.

The Center for Energy and Climate Solutions (CECS) and Shaw Supermarkets (based in New England) are showing that $3 billion could be saved every year on energy costs and brownouts could be avoided by using recommended strategies and technologies.  Better still, supermarkets and other retail stores can reduce their energy bills and increase their profits by improving the shopping appeal of their stores.  

  • Shaw’s updated energy systems reduce global warming pollution by more than 30,000 tons per year – the same annual impact of 4,000 typical passenger cars.       
  • Wal-Mart saves about 250 million kWh per year from lighting improvements – enough power to supply more than 20,000 homes.

“The energy efficient improvements we identify have a proven record for cutting energy costs and increasing profits by making shopping a more pleasant experience,” said Joe Romm, CECS Executive Director.  “The fact that these actions have environmental benefits makes it a win-win situation.”

Energy Efficiency Opportunites: Big Box Retail and Supermarkets