Energy $aving Trifecta
Pineapple’s fluorescent bulbs, digital in-room thermostats and motion-sensor nightlights are proven to provide paybacks measured in months with ROI typically eight to 10 times the initial investment — and this doesn’t begin to factor in rebates from some utility companies that can cover 40 percent or more of the cost of such upgrades.
“Pugent Sound Energy gave us about $15,000 to partner with Pineapple Hospitality and retrofit our 152 guestrooms and public spaces with some 2,750 energy-efficient lamps and 250 fixtures,” said Vickie L. Molzer, GM of the Hawthorn Suites Seattle/Kent. “It took less than 60 days to complete the project once PSE gave us the green light. The fluorescent lights last up to six times as long as the incandescents and could cut our related lighting costs to one-quarter of what were if we reap savings similar to other Pineapple clients.”
Light of Your Life
Molzer said the savings was as simple as changing a bulb and flicking a switch. Well, actually a few thousand lightbulbs were changed by staff because the savings incentive was too great to pass up.
“We expect a complete payback in a year to a year and a half and an overall payback of five to six times our initial investment,” Molzer said. “Just as important, this is one of those projects that’s as easy to implement as it easy to cost justify.”
Molzer said it’s not all about the money. It’s as much about saving energy and our planet’s precious resources as it is saving a lot of dough for holiday cookies and then some.
“We live in an extremely environmentally aware region,” Molzer said. “Guests and employees alike recognize we’re doing our part to promote and support eco friendly practices and they reward us time and again with their loyalty and referrals. While we’re really not doing it so much for the good PR, it is natural byproduct of a project like this — and, quite frankly, that kind of marketing is priceless.”
Ray Burger, President of St. Charles-based Pineapple Hospitality, said he leveraged the company’s longstanding partnerships with GE and Technical Consumer Products to net volume pricing and meet the varied needs of the Hawthorn Seattle/Kent lighting retrofit project.
“An ENERGY STAR partner, we can help properties compare their energy costs to others in their area. We’ll also provide complimentary lighting audits — telling you what lighting technologies will work best where and estimating how much you will save when you upgrade to fluorescents. We’ll even help you tap rebates from local utilities if they’re available in your region.”
Burger said an added savings that’s often overlooked is the reduced maintenance labor and guest complaints that come with fluorescents lasting six times as long as incandescents.
“Just as sweet, we have an electronic energy-efficient lighting reorder program helping you keep tabs on what you need to order to make sure your valued guests never get left in the dark,” Burger said. “Just like our lighting retrofits, reordering is as easy as 1-2-3.”
Another big hit with hotel owner/operators and guests is Pineapple Hospitality’s Guestat programmable in-room digital thermostats. Offering a complete payback in three to 12 months, Guestat costs less than $100.
“Guestat delivers 90 percent of the benefits of occupancy sensor-based models at one-quarter the cost,” Burger said. “Typical energy savings is 25 percent and the Guestat has a lifespan of 10-plus years.”
Features of the sleek, flush-mounted Guestat include:
“With six guestrooms tied into each compressor and no real controls in place before, we could have four guestrooms placing high temperature demands on a compressor and two others requesting cold climates at the same time. The compressor basically would say ‘This is too wacky’ and would shut off,” Stager said. “This happened far too often for our liking. However, now, thanks to Pineapple and Guestat, we have temperature limits of 72 to 74 degrees in the summer and 66 to 68 degrees in winter. We’re saving energy and money and our guests are happier. Guestat is a win-win.”
Stager said more properties owned by Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Heartland Hotel Corp. likely will follow suit.
“Our parent company, Heartland, has about 20 properties open or under development and Guestat would be a great fit for many if not all of them, too,” Stager said. “I think our Holiday Inn Express was the Guestat test property and since it’s going so well I think we’ll be replicating this success shortly.”
The Buck Stops Here
The third leg of Pineapple’s energy-saving trifecta is the Watt Stopper WN-100 motion sensor nightlight. Burger said hotel bathrooms represents a substantial overuse of lighting and that burned out bathroom lights happen to consistently rank as a top guest complaint.
“This is where the Watt Stopper comes to the rescue and says: ‘The buck stops here — literally,’” Burger said. “Research undertaken by WRA International indicates 40 percent of travelers use bathroom lights as nightlights. An additional 16 percent of guests report they actually bring nightlights with them on the road. Who would of have thunk it? Not thousands of hotel developers and owner/operators — but, thankfully, it’s not too late for them or their guests.”
Bob Clement, President and Chief Operating Officer of Waltham, Mass.-based Park Lodge Hotel Group, said the Watt Stopper quickly sheds light on cost savings and guest service and safety enhancements.
“We installed the Watt Stopper at two of our hotels, a 117-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 117-room Home Suites Inn, both in Waltham,” Clement said. “We had four 100-watt halogen lights in the bathrooms, so the cost of keeping those running all night was tremendous.”
Clement said the Watt Stopper installations were almost as big a hit with guests as the Red Sox’s 2004 drought-ending World Series championship was with locals.
“We will receive a complete payback on the Watt Stopper in one year,” Clement said. “Pineapple has studies proving the Watt Stopper on average lasts 10 years or more so that’s an ROI of at least ten-fold — which is a homerun in any sector of business.”
Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, Pineapple Hospitality™ is an EPA Energy StarTM partner bringing fresh ideas to hospitality guests’ doors and owner/operators’ bottom lines — including Environmentally Sensitive Amenities, the greenSPA luxury amenity and dispenser system, GE energy efficient lighting, Guestat programmable thermostats, Oxygenic water-efficient showerheads, the Nature’s Mist deodorization system, and dozens of other products and programs. To get a taste of Pineapple’s sweet solutions helping hundreds of hotels bolster business and cut costs, please visit www.pineapplehospitality.net, or call Ray Burger at 636-922-2285.
|Also See:||Pineapple Hospitality is Now the Exclusive U.S. Supplier of Environmentally Sensitive Amenities™ / November 2005|
|Got Pineapple? Hotelier-turned-industry-innovator Ray Burger Launches Pineapple Hospitality™ — bringing fresh ideas and business-building products and programs to your guests’ doors and your bottom line / September 2005|