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Control Systems

Although hotels and many restaurants operate 24 hours each day, areas such as meeting rooms and laundry facilities do not. Use of these areas fluctuates considerably, and mechanical equipment serving them is often controlled independently and on different schedules, so it is inefficient to have your staff set the controls manually. Energy management control systems enable facility managers to improve energy efficiency by automating lighting and HVAC and other equipment.

  • Simple control systems include time clocks, programmable electronic thermostats, programmable time controls, photocells and occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors, which recognize the presence of people either through temperature change or motion, provide energy savings of 15 to 80 percent in rest rooms, small offices, storage or warehouse areas, staff rooms and other areas. Paybacks on most sensors are approximately five years. Although motion sensors mounted at light switches are the least expensive, they are appropriate only in small, open areas where occupants are constantly within range - not in large rooms or washrooms with stalls. Carbon dioxide sensors adjust ventilation depending on the number of people in a room.


  • Energy management systems (EMS) are computerized systems that enable you to program various functions from a central point in your facility and provide early detection of operational problems. Some systems feature scheduling and monitoring functions that control temperatures and equipment in different zones - including fire or theft alarm systems. Many models are capable of turning off equipment or activating backup generators at peak demand times. Some systems can be controlled from the front desk - enabling activation of lighting and HVAC when guests arrive - while others are based on key-card access or occupancy sensors that manage lighting and HVAC based on room occupancy. A typical system for a mid-size hotel can cost $100,000 or less, with payback in as little as four years.
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