The City Lodge Hotels Group’s drive to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly across its operations has come a long way since it introduced a sustainable energy management pilot project at its Town Lodge Sandton hotel in 2009. Following the success of the pilot project, which was focused on changing the behaviour of hotel staff in relation to energy usage, the programme was rolled out across the group’s 52 South African hotels, leading to a 15% energy saving.
Now, on the back of behavioural change, the group is implementing technology and equipment changes to further increase energy savings through installing LED lighting, other energy efficient lighting, and heat pumps for the efficient heating of water. Coordinated by Pretoria-based Energy Resource Optimizers, City Lodge’s ongoing energy efficiency initiative involves constant metering and monitoring and has involved considerable training of hotel staff around the country.
Energy efficiency makes good business sense
The behavioural element of our energy saving initiative has worked really well and we are now supplementing this with state-of-the-art technology which will improve our efficiency with regard to electricity and water and lower our carbon footprint,” said Clifford Ross, City Lodge’s chief executive.
By installing LED lighting and other energy efficient lighting, the group will save around 4.2 gigawatt hours of electricity a year – that’s a monetary saving of around R4 million. Eskom, as part of its own drive to encourage the installation of LED technology, is contributing to this project.
Between February and May, hotels across the group’s four brands – Courtyard, City Lodge, Town Lodge and Road Lodge – will receive a lighting makeover. More than 45,000 lamps will be changed, around 35,000 of which are downlights.
While recently opened hotels in the group have already been fitted with heat pumps, older hotels will be fitted with heat pumps over the next few months, enabling electricity usage for the heating of water to fall sharply.
Importantly, the group is this year adding water monitoring to its “dashboard” that enables it to track water usage. It is also looking at further opportunities to make energy savings in air conditioning and laundry operations.
The way we do things has changed considerably over the past four years and the efficient use of resources has now become engrained into our operational culture,” added Ross.
Our aim is to constantly monitor our energy efficiency, always looking for new ways to improve on what we are doing. It makes good business sense for us and helps us to help the environment.”