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Coronavirus (COVID-19): an opportunity for carbon and cost savings

January 26, 2021

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Sana Rajkovic


Background: While hotels were closed during the first UK and European Covid-19 lockdown (Spring 2020), Considerate Group continued to collect and monitor clients’ energy and water consumption through Con-ServeTM. The idea was to identify base consumption levels as a useful metric against which to review operational consumption following re-opening.

In practice: Con-ServeTM captured changing consumption levels for those hotels that had systematically and fully ‘switched-off’ facilities and equipment. In addition, for those hotels that had not been as rigorous in approach to lockdown announcements, Considerate Group was able to identify (when compared to benchmark averages) patterns of unnecessary resource consumption, and alert clients to potential savings.

Findings: Hotels in France, Germany and the UK recorded significant drops in electricity usage during the first two weeks of the first lockdown (February – March 2020, dependent on country). The sharper, immediate drops in consumption reflected hotels abilities and speeds in responding to new lockdown regulations.

Overall, regardless of speed to respond, analysis showed that during the first lockdown (March 2020):

1 – Weekly electricity consumption reduced by an average of 62%

2 – The maximum savings were identified for a hotel in London where weekly electricity consumption was reduced by 92.2%

3 – The smallest savings were identified for a hotel that remained partially open, at 16% of usual occupancy. However, weekly electricity consumption was still reduced by 44%

Outcomes: Following promotion of average electricity consumption savings with all Con-ServeTM clients, Considerate Group was contacted by several hotels interested in a more granular analysis of their specific data to explain why such significant savings were not being seen at their properties.

Example: At a 4-star hotel, situated in a Victorian-style listed building in central London, a 49% reduction in electricity consumption had been recorded since the start of the lockdown. The hotel owner and chief engineer were concerned that performance, considering the hotel’s closure, was well below the benchmark.

Following analysis of the hotel’s data on Con-ServeTM, the Considerate Group data analyst was able to provide several energy-saving recommendations, including:

1 – For identified hotel areas, suggesting unnecessary equipment be turned off and unplugged

2 – Where safe to do so, suggesting all internal and external lighting (static or automated) be turned off

3 – Checking operational efficiency of air condensers, i.e. review of cleanliness and air-flow obstructions

As a result, the hotel was able to

1 Reduce weekly energy consumption by 82.4%

2 – Make additional savings on electricity bills of £1,000 per week

3 – Reduce CO2 emissions by an average of 4.6 tonnes per week, equivalent to planting 77 tree seedlings each week and growing them each for 10 years

Now aware of baseline consumption data, as hotels have been navigating the changing restrictions throughout 2020 and early 2021, Con-ServeTM is being even better utilised for its ability to support the careful management of energy consumption in relation to hotel operational status and occupancy. Carbon emissions are being reduced and costs are being saved!