While the hotel sector is one of the tourism industry’s largest drivers of employment and economic revenue, it is also one of the most energy-intensive parts of the industry and emits 21 percent of the total CO2 emissions from tourism. The EU Action Plan for Energy identifies the tertiary sector, including hotels, as having the potential to achieve a 30 percent savings on energy use by 2020 – higher than savings from households (27 percent), transport (26 percent), and the manufacturing industry (25 percent).
Almost half of the world’s hotels are located in Europe, and 9 out of 10 of these are small- and medium-sized (SME) hotels. Currently, the SME hotel sector’s use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies is far below its real potential, and the majority of hotel’s are relying on older, less efficient equipment.
Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) is an European Commission co-funded initiative designed to foster energy efficiency and renewable energy in the accommodation sector. The objective of HES is to provide practical and cost-effective solutions to small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that are part of 27 EU countries in order to improve their energy efficiency and their use of renewable energy sources. The initiative is being carried out by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), International Hotel & Restaurant Associations (IH&RA), French Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME), and European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).
HES will deliver an e-toolkit, an innovative software that is to assist hoteliers in the assessment of their energy needs alongside providing them with decision-making support (technology recommendations and ROI calculation) and a carbon footprint calculator. The project is currently in the pilot testing phase, with the beta-version of the HES e-toolkit being implemented in 4 chosen destinations: Bonn/Germany – urban, Strandja/Bulgaria – rural, Haute Savoie/France – mountain, and Palma de Mallorca/Spain – coastal. Within participating hotels, the Hotel Energy Solutions project aims to achieve a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency and a 10 percent increase in the usage of renewable energy technologies.
The finalized HES e-toolkit will be presented at the 2nd HES Annual Conference to be held on January 20, 2011 at FITUR Madrid, Spain.
For more information, please visit: www.hotelenergysolutions.net .