Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Middle East, Shadi Al-Kadi, director, programme management at Taqiti – the Dubai Energy Efficiency programme, said that despite increasing awareness, sustainability practices in hotels are not receiving the seriousness and dedication they deserve.
Rising energy costs and awareness on the benefits of energy conservation have prompted hotels worldwide, including in the Middle East, to adopt energy-saving measures, according to energy expert Al-Khadi.
He added that to conserve energy which represents a significant share of total operations in the hospitality industry, such measures are applicable and beneficial to new and existing hotels.
The energy expert said that new properties should follow green building codes that would create a sustainable built environment through improved guidelines and specifications. For existing hotels, setting clear energy management targets, energy audits and energy-focused facility management are the main levers in managing energy usage, he added.
He also said that hotel retrofits could, depending on specific factors, generate 20% to 70% savings on a hotel’s water and electricity bill. The energy expert also revealed a number of additional measures that could drive a hotel’s energy consumption and costs down, including, among other measures, the installation of energy efficient air-conditioning systems, highly energy efficient appliances and efficient irrigation systems.
According to Al-Khadi, any sustainability measures implemented by hotels need to include all stakeholders for the success of the measures, which, he added, should be communicated to guests, to become part of the hotel’s experience.
Despite greater awareness and that energy saving practices can greatly improve the energy efficiency of the hotel sector, the energy expert believes that sustainability practices are still not receiving the seriousness and dedication they deserve.