Hotel plant cost has three components:
energy cost, operations cost and maintenance
cost. A Building Automation System (BAS)
improves hotel performance by reducing
justified on energy savings alone, without
even considering the reduced maintenance
cost or the improvement in operations
Many hotel professionals do not have a balanced view of
first cost and energy cost.
To test yourself, try to answer the following question.
If you buy a new 10 hp motor and operate it continuously,
how long before the energy cost to operate the motor equals
the capital cost to buy the new motor? If you are like most
hotel professionals, your “gut feel” indicates
one to two years. In fact, the correct answer, depending
on local costs, works out to about two
months! Hotel professionals are often wrong by a factor
of ten because they place so much importance on first cost
and do not properly consider energy cost.
There are two factors driving up the hotel plant operating
• The systems being installed in hotels are growing
increasingly complex, such as microprocessor-based bedside
panels and in-room Internet connections
• Customers’ increasing expectations with respect
to the quality of the environment – guest experience
/ customer satisfaction ratings have become the new battleground
in the hospitality industry Maintenance Cost The hotel engineering
department is often first on the cutting line in bad times
and last in line for improvement during good times. Many
hotel owners and managers initially plan to spend about
8% of their revenues on capital improvements each year.
Unfortunately, most end up deferring improvements to save
short-term expenses. The Solution A Building Automation
A Building Automation System (BAS) can be installed in new
or existing hotels. Microprocessor-based control panels
are located in mechanical rooms and in risers. A backbone
network is installed which connects the BAS control panels
to computer terminals. The BAS monitors and controls the
heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system
and the • Electrical distribution system • Plumbing
and sanitary system • Fire fighting and fire alarm
Terminal in Engine ering Department Controls in Plant Room
Reducing Energy Cost
The first principle of management is that you cannot manage
something until you measure it.
This concept also applies to energy management. The first
step in an effective energy
management programme is an effective energy measurement
system. Waiting for a monthly
utility bill from the accounting department is not an effective
energy measurement system.
In all cases, the BAS will monitor the incoming power to
the hotel. Some hotel engineers are
lucky enough to have the BAS monitor the power delivered
to the plant as a separate reading.
What should the hotel engineer do with this information?
Here are some tips:
• Plot the load profile of the incoming power, using
samples taken on a 15-minute interval.
This will help identify the time of day when peaks are likely
to occur. The hotel engineer
can explore what equipment can be turned off at that time
to reduce demand charges.
• Check the consumption and demand readings from the
BAS with the monthly readings
from the utility. There have been cases where the utility
meter has been wrong and the
utility has accepted the BAS reading for billing purposes.
• Make the power information available on the hotel
intranet so that, with proper password, the current and
historical power can be viewed from any computer, even a
dial-in laptop, using a standard Internet Explorer. •
Keep track of the energy consumed by the plant