BOSTON—On September 1, the Jurys Boston Hotel will do what few other properties have done—offset 100 percent of its electricity consumption. The hotel will pay a premium of 6 percent for its electric power to Constellation NewEnergy, which in turn will purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from renewable generation sources in the United States. According to Stephen Johnston, general manager of the 225-room hotel, the step was taken because he and the hotel’s ownership team believed it was the right thing to do.
Is paying 6 percent more for electricity an acceptable cost? If one considers the amount of savings the Jurys Boston Hotel has accumulated from its numerous energy saving measures, it most definitely is. The property stands to benefit significantly from the positive marketing buzz created by such a progressive step.
The Jurys Boston Hotel, located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay, opened just a little more than three years ago. The hotel is a 1920s architectural landmark and the former home of Boston’s police headquarters. A total of $64 million was invested in the building to convert it to a hotel. Part of the investment included a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, as well as an energy management system that monitors temperature readings throughout the building.
When the hotel opened, about 80 to 90 percent of the lighting was either incandescent or halogen. The property has since transitioned to compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) in seven of the nine fixtures in each of the 225 guestrooms. Each room’s power draw dropped from 420 watts to 91 watts as a result of the retrofit. The Jurys Boston received a subsidy from NSTAR, the property’s local electricity provider, which took care of $6 of every $9 spent on the CFLs.
“We noticed an immediate drop in electricity costs,” says Johnston, who adds that he is currently finalizing the purchase of LED lighting to replace the two halogen bulbs in each guestroom armoire.
In addition to guestrooms, 53 incandescent bulbs were replaced with CFLs in each of the hotel’s eight corridors. The energy draw dropped from 2,620 watts per corridor to 689. Public areas such as the lobby have also seen lighting changes. Four chandeliers now use low-energy, candle-style lighting.
Ozone Laundry System in Place
When towels or bath robes need washed and dried, the work takes place in the hotel’s laundry room where there are three washers and dryers. The hotel’s owners, Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, spent $45,000 on an ozone system to reduce laundry costs. It was installed two years ago. The hotel received an $1,800 rebate from its gas company, Keyspan Energy.
“The ozone system reduces the temperature of all washes to lukewarm,” Johnston says. “It injects ozone into the water which helps sterilize and clean the towels and robes. We use less energy. The wash cycles are shorter. We use 30 percent of the detergent we used to use. The payback time on the system was just 16 months.”
Thanks to its efforts to reduce energy consumption, the Jurys Boston Hotel was named an Energy Star hotel in 2006. Minimizing energy usage is just one part of the property’s environmental strategy. A few of the hotel’s other initiatives include:
• To reduce water consumption, low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets were installed. Guests have the option of reusing their bed linens and towels.
• The housekeeping department uses cleaning products that do not include hazardous chemicals.
• The hotel provides training programs to employees that focus on areas such as environmental leadership, best management practices, hazardous waste management, recycling procedures, and green cuisine.
• In the hotel’s food service operations, organic, local and sustainable food products are used whenever possible. Misty Knoll Free Range Chicken, and other meats that do not include hormones or steroids are purchased. An herb and vegetable garden on the roof supplies chefs with menu ingredients.
• Glass, paper and cardboard are recycled. Blue and green bins throughout the property encourage participation.
• In the hotel’s marketing materials, its efforts to green operations are highlighted.
Even though the hotel is owned and managed by Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, Johnston says there was no formal mandate to be entirely green and energy efficient. Many of the hotel’s programs were initiated in the engineering department. Several of the hotel’s improvements were financed with the assistance of local utilities.
“It is amazing how many programs there are to help you pay for these things,” Johnston says.
In the coming year, the Jurys Boston Hotel plans to do even more to reduce energy consumption. Guestroom energy management systems are currently being reviewed to help manage heating and cooling costs when guests are not in their rooms.
Go to the Jurys Boston Hotel.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.