Energy efficiency for hospitality & gaming businesses

Words by Zembl

Seizing today’s opportunities and overcoming the challenges

The hospitality and gaming industry is where opulence meets entertainment, so it’s not surprising that traditionally the electricity bill could be as extravagant as the services offered. Enter the era of sustainability however, and these businesses have had to shine the spotlight on energy efficiency as a crucial and cost-effective strategy.

From hotels that operate round the clock to vibrant casinos that never dim their lights, there is a vast scope for energy conservation without compromising guest satisfaction. It’s not just a matter of corporate responsibility; it’s a matter of financial prudence, resource preservation, brand appeal and keeping pace with the green machine that’s no longer the future – it’s here.

Where hotels and gaming businesses consume their energy

For a typical hotel, energy consumption is the second largest expense after labour costs, accounting for approximately 6% of all operating costs. Refrigeration, lighting, and HVAC systems are the main culprits, each contributing a significant chunk to the electricity bill. Casinos, with their 24-hour operations and rooms of gaming machines, exceed these figures by a considerable margin. Such venues also face the brunt of peak demand charges, where sudden surges in energy use result in astronomical bills.

3 big benefits of energy efficiency for hotels and gaming businesses

Energy efficiency is a strategic approach that promises a wealth of benefits, not just for your environmental footprint but for the business bottom line.

In a 2023 study commissioned by Zembl of both small and large commercial businesses, it was found that if there’s one area businesses in Australia are universally open to and willing to embrace, it’s energy efficiency1; ie finding ways to reduce energy consumption (and cost) without compromising quality. It’s a reflection that for businesses of all sizes, profitability and the bottom line still rate highest on their priorities – and energy efficiency, if it also cuts costs, aligns nicely with that. Plus, there’s a halo of other benefits that come with it. It’s win, win, win!

  1. Cost savings
    The most enticing aspect of energy efficiency initiatives are the potential financial savings. Simple changes, from updating lighting systems to optimising HVAC operations, can lead to immediate reductions in the energy bill. For every dollar saved in energy costs, it's a dollar earned in profit, and where profit margins are razor-thin, every penny of this matters.

  1. Environmental benefits
    Environmental benefits also flow naturally from energy-saving measures. Reduction in energy consumption translates to a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, and by extension, a lighter carbon footprint. In an era where corporate social responsibility is a major consideration, these eco-credentials are invaluable to businesses, and if they can achieve it whilst also saving a buck, all the better.

  1. Brand appeal
    When hotels and casinos adopt and promote energy efficiency, they don't just save money – they show the world they're forward-thinking and responsible. A hotel experience represents a plethora of opportunities for positive brand messages that project a sustainable and progressive environmental stance – everything from water bottles to laundry bags, bathroom taps and air-conditioning units are potential canvases. These messages, with the right tone, can ensure that energy efficiency is never seen as a hotel ‘skimping’ on luxury or service, but rather providing a value-add for the customer who can rest easy knowing that their stay is making a minimal mark on the environment.

4 centres of energy efficiency to target

Every hotel & gaming business has its own nuances affecting its energy efficiency  opportunities – with everything from premises to location playing a part. However,  
for most, the energy saving opportunities fall into these four buckets.

  1. Efficient lighting
    An easy and obvious first step for a hotel or gaming business is to replace conventional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights, which consume a fraction of the energy and have a far longer lifespan. Additionally, motion sensors and timers can ensure that illumination is used only when necessary, further cutting down electricity usage.
  1. Temperature control & HVAC tactics
    In the fight against excessive energy use, regular maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is a must. Ensuring these systems are optimised for peak efficiency can result in substantial energy savings, while smart zoning can match energy use with the ebb and flow of guests.
  1. Intelligent energy management
    Adapting cutting-edge technology, such as smart energy management systems, lets venues monitor energy usage in real-time and make adjustments as needed. This level of control not only keeps energy consumption in check but also provides valuable data that can inform future energy-saving decisions.
  1. Looking at renewable energy options
    If a hotel or gaming business’s premises are suitable, renewable energy sources like solar panels could present an opportunity for significant and long-term energy savings and efficiency. While the initial investment might seem steep, the long-term cost savings and potential for additional revenue through power generation could be game-changing.

3 potential barriers to overcome

While the case for energy efficiency may be compelling, any change takes commitment and presents hurdles to push through and overcome.

  1. Investment
    Upgrading to energy-efficient systems requires an upfront investment that can be a sticking point for many hospitality and gaming businesses. However, in today’s eco-conscious environment, there are a range of financial incentives, grants, and tax breaks available to help offset the initial cost, making the return on investment even more appealing.
  1. Training, Awareness, and Change Management
    Implementing energy-efficient practices is as much about people as it is about technology. By providing training to staff and making them active participants in the process, venues can ensure that the changes become ingrained in their day-to-day operations.
  1. Navigating Regulatory Waters
    Keeping up with the latest energy efficiency regulations can be a labyrinthine task. Staying informed and maintaining compliance is crucial, both to avoid penalties and to take advantage of any incentives or compliance-driven cost savings.

A radiant future ahead

For an industry that’s famous for delivering a shining customer experience where feelings of abundance are the aim, the time has come for a new energy paradigm. By investing in energy efficiency, the hospitality and gaming industry can create a gold standard where the customer, the environment and the business bottom line all benefit.

Innovation, strategic planning, and a committed team are the key components to turn this vision into reality. By taking a proactive approach, these establishments can be leaders in the dual pursuit of profitability and sustainability. The world is watching, and the leaders that take these steps will emerge as beacons of innovation success.

Be more energy efficient – then lower your rates with Zembl

Zembl is an Australian energy broker that has saved businesses a total of $12.23M* off their energy bills in 2023 alone, so why not make us part of your energy efficiency strategy? We can help you get competitive rates from our panel of leading Australian retailers – which could mean your energy-efficiency initiatives make the greatest impact on your hotel or gaming business’s bottom line.

By filling out our contact form and uploading your bill, our team will get in touch with you and present the most competitive options available, obligation free. If they find a saving, they’ll help you switch and stay accountable to your business and energy rates with attentive service and support for your entire contract.

1. Insight drawn from an August – September 2023 Study of Australian Businesses, “Connected Ecosystem”, by Fiftyfive5, Part of Accenture Song.

*Based on businesses that used Zembl’s business energy review service from 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023 with an average lead load of 28MWh per annum.

Find your savings with a FREE Energy Review
Save time and attach a bill
Upload failed. Max size for files is 10 MB.

By providing your details you confirm you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Thank you!
Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.