Home Publisher's Point of View October a Landmark Month for NGL Property Management’s Ramada Vineland

October a Landmark Month for NGL Property Management’s Ramada Vineland

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When the history of green lodging is written, a chapter should be set aside for the Ramada Vineland in Vineland, N.J. Last month the two-story, 102-room hotel did what few lodging establishments have done—generate more electricity than needed. It may be the first time a property the size of the Ramada has done this. The hotel’s electricity bill for the month? Zero dollars. Congratulations to John Scipione, owner of the hotel with his family, for reaching the “net zero” goal he set two years ago.

I first wrote about the Ramada Vineland in July 2011. What is unique about it is its $2.6 million, 2,500-solar panel installation. The panels sit on three acres of land owned by NGL Property Management (the name of John and his family’s company). Not every hotel owner has the luxury of an additional three acres of land for solar panels but few also have the vision of John Scipione.

After the Ramada was purchased by NGL Property Management in January 2009, John was looking for ways to update the tired property that was 25 years old at the time. “I spent two and a half months reading about solar power and how to reduce our carbon footprint,” he says.

Multiple Financing Sources

NGL Property Management is paying for the solar system with a loan from a local bank as well as a Small Business Administration loan. Also helping to pay for the system are SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate). For every 1,000 kilowatt-hours produced by the hotel’s solar panels, an SREC is generated. SRECs can be sold by NGL via an SREC Tracking System to energy companies looking to meet green energy production/purchase requirements. NGL will be able to do this for 15 years. NGL is also benefiting from a 30 percent federal tax credit and other tax benefits.

The solar panels were enough to reduce the hotel’s monthly electricity bill from $15,000 a month to $5,000 a month. Investments in fluorescent and LED lighting have gotten the monthly bill down to the zero dollars mark. In some cases, new lighting reduced electricity consumption by a factor of five. Interestingly, John still has one floor of lighting to replace and reached the zero dollars mark without the use of a guestroom energy management system.

Key to the success of the hotel’s conservation efforts has been employee education—getting housekeepers to turn lights off and turn heating and cooling down (PTACs) when guestrooms are vacant.

The Ramada Vineland’s accomplishment is even more significant given its banquet hall and three food and beverage facilities: Dakota Prime Steak House and Sushi Bar, Harry’s Pub (Bar & Grill), and The Speedway Café.

How close has your property gotten to replicating the Ramada Vineland’s achievement? I would love to learn about it. I can be reached by phone at (216) 848-1406, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

GLN Adds Dream Green Services as Directory Partner

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Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (216) 848-1406, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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