The Rancho Mirage, Calif., resort and spa is using its local electric company’s Lodging Energy Efficiency Program as a tool to reduce its energy consumption by 14.6%, or 1.1 million kilowatt hours, in the last year. The program offers incentive payments based on the number of kilowatt hours saved, and the most recent check issued to the hotel was for $122,373.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa is pulling a lot less power by complying with the local electric company’s voluntary Lodging Energy Efficiency Program, the Palm Springs (Calif.) Desert Sun reported.
In the last year, the Rancho Mirage, Calif., hotel has reduced its energy consumption by 14.6%, or 1.1 million kilowatt hours. Translate this to carbon footprint of an average car, and it comes to 123 vehicles, the Sun reported.
To accomplish this, old incandescent light bulbs were unscrewed and replaced with high-efficiency LEDs. Forty-five 300-watt pool lights were traded for 90-watt LEDs, Yousouf Khan, director of engineering at Westin Mission Hills, said. The Oasis Ballroom is lit up with LED chandelier bulbs that cost only 60 cents a year to operate and last for more than 27 years, the Sun reported.
“We’re still testing them, but most probably, these will be the product that we will implement in all of our chandeliers,” Khan said after a presentation on July 10 where the hotel was issued a $122,373 incentive check by Southern California Edison for making the changes and participating in the electric provider’s Lodging Energy Efficiency Program, the Sun reported.
Participation in the program is free and available to any hotel in Southern California, said Cynthia Davis, major account manager for Southern California Edison.
“The lodging energy program is a tool, and it’s a free tool for hotels,” said Davis, as a group was being led on a tour of some of the back-of-the-house improvements.
The utility contracts with Willdan Energy Solutions to conduct an energy audit of the hotel and devises an implementation plan. The hotel property bears the cost of capital expenses. Westin Mission Hills has invested about $1 million so far for its energy-efficiency improvements, say hotel officials. The incentive payments are based on the number of kilowatt hours saved through the improvements, the Sun reported.
The Westin still has some other energy efficiency changes in its pipeline, set to save another 1.2 million kilowatt hours, making the hotel eligible for another $132,000 in incentives. The program plays into operator Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ plan to massively reduce hotel fuel and water use by 2020, the Sun reported.
A number of other resorts in the desert are also investing in new chillers, light bulbs and taking other steps to get greener, the Sun reported.
The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells (Calif.) Resort and Spa is now saving 15-20% a month on its electric bill after initiating a number of changes like replacing old-style cooling towers. Nearly a dozen other hotels in the valley have also taken steps to earn points from the Green Lodging Program, administered by the state Department of General Services, the Sun reported.
“Initially, all of the Starwood properties were looking at the return on investment for one year, two years, three years,” said Nick Pain, regional director for engineering at Starwood. “But we’re now also looking at the larger projects where you’re looking at four-, five-, six-year payback. And they will be part of this, getting these initiatives done by 2020.”
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