Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saujana's Going green to Save Money

The hospitality industry has waded into the fight against global warming with energy-saving efforts that will see a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

A number of hotels in the country have already made efforts to conduct energy audits to see how they can save on fuel costs.

Last year, the Saujana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, managed to reduce its annual fuel costs by about RM500,000 by replacing its aging chillers, water heaters and air-conditioners with new energy-efficient ones.

More recently, an energy audit on Hotel Seri Pacific in Kuala Lumpur revealed that it could save up to RM880,000 on fuel costs if adjustments were made.

The move would also cut carbon dioxide output by 470,960kg.

Although the savings sound large, Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) vice-president Ahmad Kamil Adnan said many hotels were hesitant about making the changes because they would have to fork out money first.

“In the end, it is about the money. In these times when money is tight, no business is going to spend money for what they see as nothing in return.”

In the case of Hotel Seri Pacific, RM4.85mil needs to be spent to retrofit all the necessary equipment and it would take a little more than four years before the hotel sees real savings.

The hotel, however, is going through with the project, according to general manager Jean F Wasser, because it would make it more competitive, with the goal of maintaining an average room rate of RM200.

Ahmad Kamil said other MAHO members were aware of the need to be energy efficient but needed more cost-justification.

“The Government needs to be do more in terms of providing incentives. For example, we have been trying to lobby the authorities to give hotels their own set of electricity tariff rates and not charge us commercial rates but it has not been successful.”

According to energy consultant Ramvir Sharma, a mere 10% cut in Malaysia’s carbon dioxide emissions would roughly translate to savings of about 760 million litres of fuel that is burnt annually.

Source : STAR
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