Green hotels?

One of my pet peeves is going to a conference on efficiency and being in a hotel that is an obvious energy hog. A particular irritant are the ballrooms with chandeliers with 100+ candelabra lights that are 40 Watts each, which is 4 KW of low efficacy lighting, plus extra cooling load to boot. Energy Star has a program for hotels, but I haven’t seen any hotels advertizing they are an Energy Star building.

Today’s NYT has an article about green hotels with several examples of hotels that have achieved LEED status. This is a picture of meters in the lobby of the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel. The meter on the left (hard to read in the picture) is carbon emissions, along with electricity and water. I’d like to know what the bottom screen was displaying. At the CEC we’ve been saying for a long time that giving consumers data is the best way to modify behavior. Hmmm…why can’t we have displays like this at the Energy Commission?

nyt_green-hotels.jpg

Fortunately people are working on some good ideas for hotels at the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis. Dr. Lux (Michael Siminovitch) and his crew are working on hotel solutions such as key card lighting controls (like have been used extensively in Europe) and bathroom lighting controls (i.e., a lighting control that turns on a night light, so people don’t have to leave the bathroom light on all night to find it…). These are clever ideas, but there isn’t a solution on the horizon for the chandeliers I dislike so much–maybe there will be an LED fix, but not yet.

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