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Energy Star’s Change a Light Day a good Reminder to Transition to CFLs


Of all the measures one can take to reduce energy costs, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) is certainly one of the easiest. Available for years now, they use two-thirds to three-quarters less energy than incandescent bulbs but last thousands of hours longer. Even with an initial higher cost, CFLs can easily put more money in your pocket in a short period of time. In public areas where lights are on 24 hours a day, savings can be significant, especially in terms of maintenance.

Wednesday, October 4 is Energy Star Change a Light Day. If your property has not yet embraced CFL technology, now is a great time to do so. The Energy Star event is a national call to action to encourage everyone in the United States to help save energy and protect the environment through energy-efficient lighting. Organizations are invited to play a leadership role by setting a pledge goal. (See details.)

There was a time when fluorescents may have given your guests the impression that you were not necessarily providing them with the best value. Today, that has changed. Technology has advanced to the point where CFLs look like incandescents but perform better. Some are dimmable, which is ideal for meeting rooms. The variety of CFLs to choose from also has expanded.

Sizeable Savings from CFLs

Green Lodging News has reported on several hotels that have experienced great savings from CFLs. The 334-room InterContinental Washington, for example, is saving $100,000 annually because of them. At the smaller Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the owners are saving $8,000 a year. Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts uses 27,000 CFLs in its operations around the United States.

In an article appearing in Green Lodging News earlier this year, Tedd Saunders, co-owner and executive vice president of Boston-based Saunders Hotel Group, said the hospitality industry is catching on that CFLs are part of a good business strategy. Saunders said his family’s company has been using CFLs for more than 15 years.

Saunders says using CFLs is a “no brainer.” The lights to change first, he suggests, are the ones with most frequent usage—in the back-of-the-house and public areas, for instance, where they are on 24 hours a day. After those areas are changed out, concentrate on guestrooms.

With lighting accounting for approximately 35 to 40 percent of a property’s overall electrical expenses, there is no better time than the present to switch to CFLs. You will add to your bottom line and help protect the environment as well. As power plants power down, greenhouse gas emissions will drop. Not a bad deal.

If you have any advice to share with other properties regarding CFLs, please write to me and I will share it in an upcoming column.

Odds and Ends

Green Lodging News welcomes Queenaire Technologies as its third Founding Sponsor. Queenaire, with a management team with more than 30 years in the ozone industry, provides ozone generating products that deodorize and eliminate odors safely and effectively. The company sells five different machines for different size rooms and applications. Queenaire also produces the NewAire Plug-In, a portable plug-in unit that can deodorize rooms up to 500 square feet in size.

Green Lodging News also welcomes Intracoastal Innovations as a Green Product Directory sponsor. Intracoastal is the maker of the Buffet Burner, an environmentally friendly alternative to chafing fuels and gels. Environmental benefits include the elimination of harmful emissions, continual waste, and unending replacement costs.

As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@aol.com, or by calling (440) 243-2055. I look forward to hearing from you.