The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging people to travel green while on the road this summer, and choosing hotels that have earned EPA’s Energy Star is a great place to start. Energy Star labeled hotels are independently verified to meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by EPA. Hotels that have earned the Energy Star perform in the top 25 percent of hotels nationwide, use at least 35 percent less energy and emit at least 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than their peers - making an environmentally friendly lodging choice a snap when planning a summer vacation.
In addition to choosing a hotel that has earned the Energy Star, travelers can also bring their green on the road with steps to save energy as a hotel guest. Simple actions can add up to big savings for the environment and for the bottom line. EPA recommends the following steps to save energy this summer as a hotel guest:
- turn off the lights and TV when leaving the hotel room;
- adjust the thermostat to an energy-saving setting so it doesn’t heat or cool the room while empty;
- unplug electronics such as cell phones chargers and laptops when not in use;
- open curtains to take advantage of daylight when possible;
- and re-use linens to save both water and energy.
The lodging industry spends more than US$7.5 billion on energy each year. Reducing energy use by 10 percent across the industry could save US$750 million and help reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 6 million tons annually. Through Energy Star, EPA works with hundreds of owners and managers of hotels across the country to help strategically manage energy performance, cut energy use, lower utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The online registry that lists all hotels that have earned the Energy Star is updated daily with energy efficient buildings from coast to coast. Several popular travel search engines have also enhanced their online hotel listings to include properties that have earned the Energy Star.