E.ON, one of the United Kingdom’s leading power and gas companies, last week released the results of its survey of 2,000 travelers. The survey primarily focused on traveler attitudes toward green hotel practices. According to the survey results, one-third of guests say hotels and B&Bs should be judged on sustainability, with an accreditation system similar to food and service quality. One in five people would be more likely to stay in or recommend a B&B or boutique hotel if it used renewable energy sources. Similar numbers would be swayed by knowing the hotel used energy efficient measures such as low energy lighting (17 percent). Half of guests say that the sustainability and energy use of a hotel is important to them. One in 10 want their accommodation to have smart thermostats in the room so they can monitor their energy usage, while a similar number want a recycled water system. The research also found that half of hotel guests would be willing to be an “eco-customer” if they got a 10 percent discount for adopting environmentally friendly behaviors such as using a single towel during their stay, having their lights and electricity on stand-by, and limiting hot water use.
With one-third of survey respondents admitting to using more energy at hotels than they would at home, hotels may need to think about how to incentivize their guests to keep their energy use down, as well as ensuring their own energy systems are as efficient as possible. The survey says that most hospitality businesses refurbish every seven to 10 years and this provides a significant opportunity to respond to changing guest preferences as well as adapt for energy savings. According to the Carbon Trust, some hospitality businesses have seen energy costs reduced by as much as 40 percent thanks to steps taken during refurbishment. E.ON has developed an online Energy Toolkit which helps businesses of all sizes track and adapt their energy use through reports and alerts.