The need to save energy in the South African Hospitality Industry has become a national priority. The National Energy Regulator in South Africa has stipulated an annual electricity tariff increase of 8% from 2013 to 2018. That is about 40% more than the current inflation rate. This brings some temporary relief, but, industry players should be aware, that electricity prices will at least double in the next two to three years.
According to Eskom, South Africa is more electricity-intensive by between 35% and 65% than its counterparts with a similar GDP. Furthermore, in line with international governance trends, existing hotels are likely to be legally bound to adopt sustainable business practices at some point in future. In addition to the rising energy costs, and future legal consequences for existing hotels, the South African government has specified certain requirements for all new buildings (this includes hotels, lodges, B&B’s plus guest houses) through the implementation of the SANS 204/2011 regulation (South African National Standard). This standard specifies the design requirements for energy efficiency in buildings and of services in buildings with natural environmental control and artificial ventilation or air conditioning systems. The document can be purchased online at: https://www.sabs.co.za/Standardss/index.asp
There are now strong incentives to improve energy efficiency in the hospitality industry across all sectors. The bottom line is any energy and water saving initiatives will have an impact on profits. At the same time, hotels adopting sustainable strategies will increase their economic competitiveness and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.
Thankfully, there are ways in which the hotel owner, manager and worker can make a difference to reduce consumption through behavioural change and by the introduction of energy and water saving features. There are also government subsidies to assist on some sustainable initiatives with the promise of more in the future. Eskom’s Integrated Demand Management (IDM) http://www.eskomidm.co.za/funding-options programme makes funds available to its clients in support of reduced energy demand or consumption. It makes sense to start saving electricity now through renewable and behavioural initiatives in our hotels in order to avoid paying a lot more in the future. Remember! Saved energy is the most sustainable energy.