British guests less energy conscious during hotel stays finds survey

The Grove Hotel, part of Ralph Trustees' hotel group, has sensors in bedrooms to help guests to become more energy-efficient without fore-going the luxury of a hotel stay

A third of British holidaymakers say they are less energy conscious when staying in hotels with more than half believing it is the responsibility of the hotel to ensure the business is energy efficient.

According to the survey by energy supplier E.ON, guests generally leave their good green habits at home when they go away with 58 per cent admitting to breaking away from energy-efficient behaviour when staying in hotels. 

The survey of 2,000 people found 18 to 24-year-olds were the worst culprits with 78 per cent claiming they didn't think about energy usage and practiced habits that use high levels of energy, such as using fresh towels each day, taking longer or more frequent baths or showers and leaving the lights on all day.  

Overall, 37 per cent of people said they liked to relax and forget about being 'green' while staying away from home while 14 per cent said they didn't care about energy usage if they weren't paying for it. 

Anthony Ainsworth, business energy director at E.ON, said: “Often the whole point of a hotel stay is to ‘get away from it all’ so it’s easy to understand why people pay less attention to energy use, especially as it isn’t part of an itemised bill when they check out. But whether a business has five, ten or 100 rooms these small things can add up to make a significant impact on overall costs and it is something business owners should consider."

Energy savings

Although many guests said they were less energy-conscious when staying in hotels, 53 per cent of respondents did say they would be more likely to stay in a hotel with strong eco-credentials and the type of business was also key to their habits.  A quarter of people said they would be more energy conscious when staying at a smaller, independent hotel compared to when they stayed in a larger branded hotel. 

Ainsworth said there were ways that hotel owners could save on their energy bills without having to compromise the quality of a guest's stay. 

"We’ve heard from our own business customers that nothing should get in the way of guests’ quality of stay but there are definite energy savings improvements that hotels and B&Bs can make which can go a long way to helping cut overall energy costs," he said.

One way, seen at four hotels run by Ralph Trustees Ltd, is to introduce room sensors which control lighting, air conditioning and other equipment. 

Robert Kenworthy, the company's group faciliities director, said: "If a guest leaves the room without switching the lights or air conditioning off the sensors will go through various tests and then slowly turn things off and down. We want to save energy but we don’t want to impose on our guests.”

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