The Carbon Trust estimates that you could cut your boutique hotel’s energy bills by as much as 20% just by implementing simple and inexpensive eco measures. If you’re new year resolution is to make your boutique hotel greener, this is a good place to start.

Lighting control, optimising room and water temperatures, and raising energy awareness among staff are just some of the options. Equally importantly, energy efficiency measures are not only going to prove economically beneficial but are also likely to benefit the reputation of your small hotel.

Hot water

  • Do not overheat hot water. A temperature of 60°C is ideal:it provides comfortable hot water and is hot enough to kill legionella bacteria
  • Consider fitting spray water taps, as they use less hot water and energy
  • Make sure that leaking taps are repaired promptly
  • Ensure that pipework is well insulated

Air conditioning

  • Avoid operating the heating and cooling systems simultaneously. This can be a common problem in boutique hotels. Switch off heating when outside temperature reaches 21°C
  • Avoid overheating bedrooms and corridor areas. This is not only expensive, it can also be uncomfortable for guests; aim for 19-21°C
  • Avoid using air conditioning for cooling until the temperature exceeds 23-24°C
  • Implement a building management system (BEMS). These systems control and monitor heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and can reduce total energy costs by 10% or more


  • Install occupancy and daylight sensors so that your lights are only on when required
  • Use low-energy lighting. Replace tungsten lamps and fluorescent tubes with much more energy efficient items such as T5 tubes or compact fluorescent or LED lamps. These could help you reduce the electricity you consume for lighting by up to 80%. Furthermore, some of the newer bulb types last more than eight times longer than tungsten lamps, and, as they produce less heat, they will put less strain on the cooling required from your air conditioning system


  • Defrost fridges regularly; check the seals on cold rooms and fridges; and keep condensers and evaporators clean
  • When replacing or buying new, look for energy efficient units such as those that are A rated. If possible, buy A++ units, as they have the lowest electrical running costs
  • Keep fridge doors closed as much as possible

Source: Carbon Trust