‘Greening your operation adds net value to your hotel in more than one way’

Fairconditioning is an international partnership to promote energy efficient cooling (HVAC) in India. The programme has been received positively by different sectors that rely on large scale HVAC/ cooling, including the hospitality industry. Philippe de Rougemont, executive board member, Fairconditioning talks about the benefits of procuring energy efficient technology by hoteliers By Sudipta Dev

What is the importance of the hospitality industry in your strategy to promote energy efficient cooling?

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Philippe de Rougemont

Compared to any other economic sector, the hospitality industry has a unique relationship towards its buildings. Think about it: which other sector uses comfort provided by its real estate as its main asset to generate revenue? But what is comfort? How do hoteliers understand their client’s definition of comfort? Concerning indoor thermal comfort and air quality, depending on how these questions are answered, the hotelier will be either facing very high energy bills or a fraction of these bills with an unchanged sense of comfort for its clients. Hotel managers are already aware of the potential savings in the energy sector; they need sound, and neutral counseling to reap those savings, and this is where we intervene.

How is the Fairconditioning programme engaging the hospitality sector in India ?

With each hotel brand management we start by helping them acquire a more holistic perception of what indoor thermal comfort means to their clients. We then explain how the amount of cooling load addressed by electric appliances (ventilation, air conditioning) can significantly be reduced through sound investment in retrofitting existing buildings envelopes or in upcoming new buildings. Modeling tools explicitly show hotelier’s cost, savings as well as time of return on investment. Finally, our team shows the hotel management the best reliable energy efficient cooling appliances available on the market.

How can green technology initiatives add to the bottom line/ decrease OPEX in the long run for a hotel company ?

Why ‘in the long run’ ? In the cooling sector, procuring energy efficient technology provides savings in the short term, since return on investment is often as short as one year. Green technology initiatives help hoteliers reduce energy bills, making the operation of hotels more profitable, it is as simple as that and hoteliers have identified this very well. Also, clients are not a separate section of society, like everyone they are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of the environmental footprint of competing service providers. Greening your operation adds net value to your hotel in more than one way.

Have you been interacting with various hotel and restaurant associations in different regions ? What has been the feedback from them ?

We are currently working with three groups of hotels and resorts: The Fern, CGH Earth and Lemon Tree. Their feedback is expressed directly by their continued participation with Fairconditioning. With each group we are working directly either on monitoring pilot installations of a state-of-the-art energy efficient AC in one of their rooms to compare energy performance against the usual AC, or on an MoU whereby the hotel chain will choose only best in class energy efficient appliances when procuring cooling equipment. Again, our experience with this sector shows that chasing energy waste is already identified as an indirect moneymaker for hotel managers. Our not-for-profit programme helps hoteliers identify significant savings.

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