Retrofit Success Story - Better Controls Create Energy Savings
Wilfred Waite Sr. was in his 60s when he fulfilled a dream and built the Fredericton Inn in 1977. The popular, 3-storey, full-service hotel has 200 guest rooms, 14 banquet rooms and is located in the midst of Fredericton’s retail shopping area.
His son, co-owner Wilfred Waite, who now runs the hotel, was concerned about monthly power bills which ran as high as $42,000. He needed to find a way to reduce energy costs while still ensuring guest comfort and satisfaction.
Efficiency NB’s Energy Smart Existing Commercial Buildings Retrofit Program was a good fit for the Fredericton Inn, based on the building’s age, consumption, and the owner’s commitment to reduce energy costs. An energy audit of the hotel identified opportunities to maximize energy savings and helped Wilfred determine which energy efficiency measures to implement. These included upgrading the HVAC system and converting to natural gas, installing programmable thermostats and a new energy management control system, and carrying out lighting upgrades and air sealing.
According to Wilfred, the HVAC upgrade and new energy management control system “have been a real blessing!”. Banquet room temperatures are now easily programmed with set points and based on whether the rooms are vacant or occupied. Wilfred can also make real time changes to these rooms from his iPhone, when required.
Because hotel occupancy rates vary, heating and cooling unoccupied guest rooms wastes energy and money. New programmable thermostats allow for guest rooms to be heated or cooled only when occupied. The temperature in occupied rooms is maintained using infrared motion detectors for the length of the guest’s stay. Housekeeping staff can simply re-set the temperature when the rooms are vacated. There have been many positive comments from staff and guests, including some that were not anticipated. “Guests have even commented on the quietness of the air conditioning units since we’ve made the changes” reveals Wilfred.
The hotel also conducted a lighting retrofit where they upgraded their T12 and metal halide fixtures to T8 fixtures, incandescent lamps to CFLs and LEDs (light emitting diode). This resulted in electricity cost savings and better quality lighting in the kitchen and common areas. The kitchen staff has seen a noticeable difference in their work area since the lighting upgrade.
Energy efficiency measures implemented at the Fredericton Inn have already resulted in significant monthly savings of about $4,800 per month which has got Wilfred looking forward to the increased savings that the winter months will bring.
Through Efficiency NB’s Energy Smart Commercial Buildings Retrofit Program, the hotel received an audit incentive of $3,000 and an implementation incentive, which is based on annual energy savings of $13,894. With a forecasted $70,800 in annual cost savings, Wilfred says “energy efficiency is a no-brainer” and he plans on implementing further measures to reduce energy consumption. The reduction in energy consumption has also lowered the hotel’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 552.78 tonnes or the equivalent of taking 98 cars off the road for a year.
Best of all, with the help of Efficiency NB’s incentives, the payback on the investments in energy efficiency improvements at the Fredericton Inn is just 5.37 years.