For hotels that use in-house laundry services to provide their guests with clean linens and bath towels, high utility costs are often a fact of life.
The question for many hotel owners and managers is, “why are my hotel’s laundry services responsible for such high utility costs?”
Read on to discover a simple solution for reducing utility bills...
The short answer is that your high utility costs may be the fault of your washing machines. Traditional washing machines get fabrics clean by using copious amounts of hot water, strong chemicals and rough agitation – and a great deal of fabric-rotting soaking in increasingly soiled water.
Heating the water takes up a significant amount of electric or gas (depending on your water heating system), while the washing cycle of a traditional laundry machine consumes entire bathfuls of water with each load.
Repeat this process dozens of times each day, and any hotel can find their utility costs climbing through the roof.
Finding Ways to Reduce Utility Bills
To combat this problem, many hotels are looking for ways to reduce the amount of guestroom linen they have to process each day.
One common strategy that hotels use is to ask their guests to reuse towels and linens. While the reuse of towels is a great way to save on laundry costs, there is no guarantee that guests will follow – or appreciate – this restriction.
Some hotels have resorted to outsourcing their laundry operations. In truth, this merely shifts the costs of doing laundry from your utility and staff expenses to having a new vendor to pay and manage on a regular basis. For some, shifting laundry to be a task handled by an outside agency can be a great solution.
But, is it the best solution for your hotel? External laundry services may not be as responsive as your own in-house operation would be; this is largely because of the time it may take to send your linens to the external company, have them sorted and processed from all of that laundry’s other customers’ items, and then sent back to you.
The challenge is to find a way to reduce utility costs while still providing guests with the best service possible, which means giving them clean linens and towels when they need them.
In recent years, awareness about conservation of resources has been on the rise. Many environmentally minded guests like to use hotels with green practices and policies. Even the utility companies themselves are starting to get involved with efforts to promote efficiency with common utilities.
Rebates for Efficiency
Many utility companies, especially in the USA, offer financial incentives for upgrading to efficient products. Find policies & incentives by State here.
Back in 2014, Liberty Utilities - a utility company that provides natural gas in the United States - awarded Sterling Linens with an efficiency rebate worth 28,000 U.S. dollars.
How did Sterling qualify for such a significant rebate? What did they do to reduce their utility costs by so much that Liberty Utilities decided to award Sterling with an efficiency rebate?
Sterling Linens changed the way that they process laundry, massively cutting their water use, and reducing their hot water use to zero. The reduction in overall water use helps to conserve this valuable resource, but the elimination of hot water from the equation dramatically reduced Sterling’s natural gas use.
“What was this change,” you ask?
The means by which Sterling changed the efficiency of their laundry operations was actually quite simple: they switched from traditional water-based laundry machines to a new Hydrofinity commercial washing machine.