At RIU we know we must always use energy rationally. Heating, air conditioning and lighting are determining factors in quality hotel service, which is why managing them responsibly must never affect our guests' comfort. Nevertheless, RIU has been developing projects to reduce energy consumption for over a decade.
Below are some examples of how RIU optimises energy use through:
1. Using low consumption light bulbs in hotels
As envisaged in RIU Hotels & Resorts' Purchasing Policy, all light bulbs purchased by the chain are low consumption. The only exception is the use of high-intensity bulbs to light specific zones such as hotel façades.
Every low consumption light bulb that replaces a traditional incandescent one avoids the emission of approximately 1 Kilo of CO2 into the atmosphere for every 24 hours of operation. This point is especially important when one considers that there are more than 3,500 low consumption light bulbs in most of our hotels.
Therefore, according to our calculations, using low consumption light bulbs in our hotels impedes the emission of almost 7,500 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, which offsets the contamination generated by almost 3,800 cars during the same period.
2. Preferential purchasing of Class "A" appliances
On many occasions, the cost in electricity during the useful lives of certain appliances can be far higher than their price. In order to reduce energy use and the associated contamination, at RIU we undertook a commitment to preferentially purchase Class "A" (High Efficiency) appliances for hotels over five years ago.
3. Using heating and air conditioning efficiently
a) Automatic air conditioning shut-off system: The rooms in most of the Group's hotels have a system that automatically shuts off the air conditioning or heating when the balcony door or window is opened, which prevents energy from being wasted.
Electricity is a hotel's second-highest expense and air conditioning and heating take up the lion's share of it. Thus, these systems not only save energy, but also are directly reflected in a hotel's profit and loss account.
b) Automatic disconnection switch or card: Practically all of RIU's hotels contain switches or card slots in their rooms that disconnect all electricity consumption to save energy when guests are not present.
c) Change in room thermostats: Air conditioning and heating thermostats in guest rooms were traditionally set at a minimum established temperature of 10º C. This standard was set by installation firms, which that to unnecessary expenditure, since 10º is very low. The minimum has been raised to 18º C, which has saved a substantial amount of energy.
4. New monolith lighting with LEDs
New hotel entrance lighting will consist of a "monolith" illuminated with LEDs.
Using LEDs achieves a 75% savings in energy consumption, while cutting maintenance costs, since their estimated life is 50,000 hours, as opposed to a conventional light bulb's 1,000-1,200 hours.
5. Managing lighting
Implementing efficiency criteria for lighting means a considerable savings in energy, in view of the Group's numerous hotels and facilities.
At RIU we have always opted for the most efficient type of lighting in accordance with the special characteristics of zones to be illuminated. Below are some examples:
1. Group offices: RIU's offices use lights with specular aluminium or semi-matte optics or housed or suspended lights with matte or decorative specular optics..
2. Group archives, warehouses and kitchens: These areas use watertight lights, since this type of installation is easy to clean.
3. Laundries and large workshops at major resorts: These zones use watertight lamps with matte ellipsoidal discharge bulbs.
4. Hotel façades: Projector-type light fixtures equipped with high pressure discharge lamps.
6. Changing to more efficient monitors
In recent years, the change from monitors with cathode ray tubes to other technologies (TFT) at the Group's headquarters has achieved a significant savings in electricity. At RIU headquarters alone and in just one year (2007), savings were estimated at 1,386 kWh.
Furthermore, changing the monitors at headquarters has prevented the emission of approximately 700 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere.
But there are other advantages that cannot be overlooked: If TFT monitors dissipate less heat than cathode ray tubes do, this also reduces air conditioning consumption, which translates into lower CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and savings on electricity bills.