Hotel builders and developers, particularly in Florida, often miss opportunities to significantly reduce operating costs by failing to implement electric rate-reduction strategies. Recent reports from the American Hotels and Lodging Association and State of Florida.com show the U.S. has added more than 50,000 hotels with over 4.9M guestrooms and over 370,000 in Florida alone. This creates a lot of opportunities for energy rate-reductions.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that hotels spend more than $2,000 per hotel guestroom on energy, and the utility, National Grid, estimates large hotels (those larger than 8,000 square feet) spend $1.05 on electricity per square foot every year, and $0.25 on natural gas. Energy intensity of hotels varies widely based on location, climate, on-site amenities, size and number of guestrooms; however, one common denominator is that approximately half of a hotel’s electricity consumption is due to cooling and lighting. Certainly, Florida with its warm climate, and record-breaking 94M tourists per year, is no exception.
Thus, new plans for a hotel in Florida must include consultation with energy attorneys, in the regulatory field, to take advantage of new electric rate-reduction strategies. Using unique and new rate-reduction strategies for new and expanding hotels will reduce operating costs in the first few years, and will free up necessary capital to help finance new investments necessary to accommodate the ever-growing tourism base in Florida.