Home Energy Management Novotel Century Hong Kong Taps Electricity Monitoring Experts to Cut Costs

Novotel Century Hong Kong Taps Electricity Monitoring Experts to Cut Costs


HONG KONG—Accor Hotels has a strong track record as a trend setter, not a trend follower, in matters relating to the environment. Its first formal groupwide environmental management directive was issued in 1994, long before most hotel companies. The group created a full Environmental Charter in 1998, and increased the number of elements being managed from 15 to 65 in 2006.

With all-important support and commitment of its owners, the Novotel Century Hong Kong, the first Accor-managed hotel in Hong Kong, already moved to live up to this tradition when, earlier this year, it became one of the first hotels in Hong Kong to invest in an upgrade from air-cooled to water-cooled air conditioning chillers. Air conditioning is the largest component in the hotel’s total electricity use, so changing to the significantly more energy-efficient type has already begun delivering noticeable savings.

Now the hotel is driving its energy efficiency action plan even harder by initiating professional monitoring of electricity usage at a very detailed level. Generating electricity is a highly polluting process. Global warming, local air pollution and acid rain are significant problems that arise from burning coal to produce the electricity used by the Novotel Century Hong Kong.

The hotel’s executives recognized that managing electricity usage needed to be more sophisticated than a handwritten daily meter reading and a lump-sum monthly bill. Electricity companies look at usage in 30-minute intervals, and the Novotel Century Hong Kong decided they needed to do the same.

Interested in seeing real results, not just a bigger pile of data, the hotel has chosen to outsource the task of scrutinizing, analyzing, and giving advice about this data to a team of specialists whose expertise from monitoring hundreds of other electricity meters’ data every day of the year allows them to be quick, accurate and highly cost-effective.

Firm Provides Detailed Reports

The aptly named LiveDATA energy monitoring and reporting service, provided through Hong Kong-based energy management firm Energy Resources Management, (www.hotel-energy.com) means that the Novotel Century Hong Kong is now able to understand its electricity consumption in fine detail, and to identify critical pieces of information that were previously completely invisible, or that would have required immense amounts of manual labor to reveal, even for just a short period.

The LiveDATA team monitors 240 pieces of data each day, not just one. And 7,300 pieces of data each month, not just 31. They provide performance assessment, notifications, suggestions for remedial actions, as well as standard reports. The focus is on detecting abnormal or inefficient events that cause loss of profits, more wear on equipment, and that ultimately impact the environment. They also identify and measure improvements, so these can be locked in instead of dissipating over time.

“LiveDATA is identifying issues we simply had no way of seeing before,” says John Lam, chief engineer of the Novotel Century Hong Kong. “There is a convergence of benefits here. The power companies will pollute less if we waste less. The result is lower bills for us and lower environmental impacts for Hong Kong.”

LiveDATA keeps auditable records of all consumption metrics, and provides prompt notification of unusual conditions.

“An unusual blip can point the finger at a problem operation,” Lam says. “LiveDATA lets me know, so we can take immediate corrective action. If I need to, I can study the data further using LiveDATA’s website access to detailed monitoring records. Most alerts are due to avoidable human behavior. But now we find out about the problem right away. LiveDATA required no equipment, no training and no software. Just immediate results.”

Close monitoring of electricity usage is just one method Accor uses to achieve sustainable, environmentally friendly operations while improving profitability.