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Energy Efficiency Initiatives at Upscale and Luxury U.S. Lodging Properties: Utilization, Awareness, and Concerns


Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


Energy costs in the lodging industry have been a focus for at least forty years, but the development of energy management programs and the employment of energy management systems have been uneven, at best. A 2011 study of ninety-nine managers of upscale and luxury hotels found that the operators were reticent to implement energy management programs that were excessively costly or might impair guest comfort. Thus, in-room sensors were suspect, and a substantial group of respondents were hesitant to install an electrical demand controller (or load shedder) for fear of interfering with guest satisfaction. These hotels also tended to use a short-term analysis that addressed raw cost and payback periods when considering an investment in energy saving equipment. A simple payback period of three years or less was favored over longer payback periods, even when a calculation of overall return on investment would have been favorable over the long term.