A guide to energy conservation methods for the independent hotel-restaurant operator

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality Management


Hotels -- Energy conservation, Restaurants -- Energy conservation

Date of Defense




As this study is being written, it is still unclear as to whether the United States will have an effective national energy policy. For the moment, at least, energy is a political football which pits the haves against the have nots, one source of energy against another, and even groups who wish to maintain the capital center of the United States in the northeast against those who see a shift of commercial and business interest to the so-called Sunbelt states in the south and soutwest.

But irrespective of politics, one fact is crystal clear. For a variety of reasons, the cost of energy is climbing at ever accelerating rates. Now there are those who say that all costs of energy will double every 3% years. There are also those who say that a bill of $100,000 for energy this year will be $800,000 in five or seven years.

Thus, even if there were no other reasons for concern, the cost factor should motivate the reader to do "something" about their energy bill. When one stops to realize that 50% of the energy purchased in commercial establishments is wasted, then it would appear that something can be done provided, of course, that the reader really wants to do something about their own situation. But there is a catch to all of this. Since 1973 and even up to the present, restaurateurs have been able to pass on their inflated costs to the consumer. In the last few years, it has been hard to interest anyone in the elimination of waste for the reason that it was easy to pass on these costs to the consumer. But now, quietly and insidiously, a major event is taking place before our very eyes without most people being aware of what is happening. The consumer is refusing to pick-up the check for even higher costs for less food and less service, and, yes, even less wine and more expensive cocktails with less alcohol.

For some time, hotel-restaurant associations and astute operators have been aware of the fact that although sales are up, customer counts seem to be softening. This is indeed an unfavorable development, one which is not unexpected, but certainly not welcome. With these forces operating, and particularly in view of the fact that energy costs will continue to rise, lies the justification for the necessity of a study on the subject of energy conservation.

The reader should know that this study is directed toward the independent hotel-restaurant owner, manager, or operator. It is not written as a handbook for architects, builders, or designers. The material presented is nontechnical and hopefully useful on an everyday basis for the average hotel-restaurant owner, operator, and his staff. The primary reason for this approach is the independent in the hospitality industry, unlike the large organization, does not have the resources and/or expertise on the subject of energy conservation. Consequently, this segment of our industry is the most vulnerable to the effects of the imminent profit squeeze resulting from higher energy costs. Further, the information presented will enable the independent to design an effective plan for energy conservation without requiring the services of expensive so-called energy consultants or engineers.



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