Guests favour sustainable B&Bs and hotels

A new survey from E.ON has found that Boutique hotels and B&Bs can win customers through adopting sustainable practices. A third of guests say that accommodation providers should be judged on sustainability, with an accreditation system similar to food and service quality. The survey of 2,000 people found that almost one in five guests would be more likely to stay in or recommend a B&B or hotel if it used renewable energy sources such as solar panels, while similar numbers would be encouraged to stay by knowing whether the hotel used energy efficient measures such as low energy lighting. Half of the people surveyed said that the sustainability and energy use of a hotel is important to them. One in ten would like their accommodation to have smart thermostats in the room so they can monitor their energy usage, while some guests would like to use a recycled water system. The research also found that half of guests would be willing to be an ‘eco-customer’ if they got a 10% discount for adopting environmentally friendly behaviours such as using a single towel during their stay, having their lights and electricity on stand-by, and using a limited supply for hot water. Almost a third of guests go so far as to say that hotels should be judged on how sustainable they are, with an accreditation system to rank their sustainability. However, with a third of people admitting to use more energy than they would at home and accommodation providers may need to think about how to incentivise their guests to keep their energy use down, as well as ensuring their own energy systems are as efficient as possible. Most hospitality businesses refurbish every 7–10 years and this provides a significant opportunity to implement these changing guest preferences as well as adapting for energy savings. According to the Carbon Trust, some hospitality businesses have seen energy costs reduce by as much as 40% if energy efficiency opportunities are maximised during refurbishment.   Phil Gilbert, Head of Business Energy Solutions at E.ON, said “The changes in travelling habits and the demands of guests will have a significant impact on hotels both small and large – not just from their impact on energy consumption, it’s also something to bear in mind when renovating your accommodation. Gilbert continued “As well as changes to the infrastructure, hotel owners and managers can consider ways of how to incentivise their guests to keep their energy use down, and to ensure their energy systems are as efficient as possible. Cutting down waste, using smart technology to manage buildings and possibly generating their own power are all options for hotels to consider and E.ON can help throughout the whole process from concept to management.”
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