Hotel Energy Measurement Changes Coming - What You Need to Know Now

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the AH&LA’s Sustainability Committee to overhaul the methodology for the hotel 1 to 100 Energy Star scoring system.

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New energy measurement methodology hopes to avoid "...skewed results, where you’re not getting a full picture of the hotels and their true efficiencies."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the AH&LA’s Sustainability Committee to overhaul the methodology for the hotel 1 to 100 Energy Star scoring system. The goal of the overhaul is to be able to score hotels on a more granular level and provide comparable scoring for both luxury and efficiency hotels. The current scoring system is very binary and does not take into effect the customer services provided by luxury hotels.

“The underlying problem is that with the current Energy Star scoring system, there’s been an absence of certain data points in the CBECS survey that might not provide enough distinction between full service and limited service hotels,” said Zack Moore, Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions and Co-founder at SOL VISTA. “That can lead to skewed results, where you’re not getting a full picture of the hotels and their true efficiencies. Basically, it could give hotels like a Courtyard Marriott or Motel 6 a better rating than it would give a Westin or a JW, or a hotel that has more full service operations for guests.”

In July, the EPA and AH&LA launched a survey to help analyze the variables between hotels with different levels of service. The survey results will help inform the EPA’s Energy Star scoring algorithms about potential changes to provide a more complete picture of hospitality service levels.

“It’s going to help us ensure that the new Energy Star score for hotels is equitable across all segments of hospitality,” said Clark Reed, National Program Manager for Energy Star commercial buildings. “For example, the current CBECS survey characterizes laundry on site in a binary way, with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options. The AH&LA survey goes into the specific quantities; how much laundry is done on site. It’s much more hotel-specific, and what we’ll be able to do is see if the changes to our rating system will be able to account for those broad segments of the hotel industry, whether they are economy hotels, luxury hotels, or resorts.”

Currently, 16 local governments require energy benchmarking, and more are expected as the United States increasingly sets energy goals from state to federal levels, such as the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

To participate in the EPA/AH&LA survey, you can find submission directions here: http://ahla.com/energysurvey/.

About SOL VISTA
SOL VISTA helps hotels quickly and continuously reduce utility expenses through a unique combination of on-site services and its performance data analytics platform, Skywalk. The on-site services leverage Skywalk, the company’s SaaS platform, to transform energy and water data into results that significantly reduce utility consumption and supply costs. At more than 200 hotels, including many well-known brands and properties, SOL VISTA has successfully delivered actual utility cost savings of 20 to 50 percent.

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Josh Cantor
SOL VISTA
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