ORHMA: $800,000/year in energy savings

Program director Robert Coish.

Program director Robert Coish.

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By Don Douloff, contributor

TORONTO—Since launching last August, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association’s Retrofit Savings Program for hotels and motels has audited 40 properties and identified approximately $800,000 per year in total energy savings.

Funded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), the program provides a free ASHRAE Level 1 energy audit valued at $2,000.

Following each audit, ORHMA writes a report recommending energy efficiency savings measures, including payback timelines.

In tandem with the report, the retrofit program suggests incentives, provided by the local electric utility (among Ontario’s 83 distributors), to offset the costs of upgrades; offers free assistance with incentive application submissions if the hotel chooses to proceed; and provides operational recommendations, including staff training to help properties further improve energy efficiency.

The 40 hotel audits identified potential energy savings in a number of areas, including lighting, HVAC, chillers, PTAC units, pumps, motors and building envelope, Robert Coish, ORHMA program director, told CLN.

Average payback of one year

The $800,000 in projected savings feature an average payback period of one year and translate to 8-million kilowatt hours of energy saved, said Coish, who conducts the onsite audits for ORHMA. Moreover, the 40 audits identified $294,000 in available incentives from local distribution companies, he said. “We are estimating more than 150 additional properties [will] be audited in 2014.”

While the energy savings potentially realized by the audited hotels are substantial, individual properties also stand to experience sizeable savings and take advantage of considerable incentives. For example, an audit of a large Toronto hotel resulted in a report outlining 4.8-million kilowatt hours of potential savings, $487,017 per year in energy savings (based on $0.10 per kilowatt hour) and incentives totaling $90,942, said Coish.

So far, ORHMA has assisted a hotel in Windsor, ON, with submitting an incentive application through the local electrical utility. That project, said Coish, would entail replacing T12 fixtures with LED recessed downlights in hallways and guestrooms.

It would cost $6,032 and provide 23,260 kilowatt hours in total energy savings, translating to $3,259 in yearly energy savings. Once eligible incentives of $2,668 are factored in, the payback period is 1.1 years.