When Dan and Michelle Brown bought the Swift House Inn 11 years ago, the 1880s building was expensive to heat and cool. The Browns knew that in order to provide a high level of service to their guests, they needed to make the inn more energy efficient.
One solution was installing a guest room energy management system: a wireless control network that automatically adjusts guest room temperature on the basis of occupancy. Guests control the thermostat when in the room, but empty rooms return to a preprogrammed temperature to save energy. Upon the guests’ return, the system resets to the temperature most recently selected, and most people never even notice the difference.
The Browns worked with Efficiency Vermont to evaluate the system before investing, to get a solid understanding of how much energy and money they would actually save. Efficiency Vermont’s savings projections take into account building specifics, heating systems, and even local weather patterns. The innkeepers then hired local contractor J.W. & D.E. Ryan to install the system, and to help them get it up and running.
The savings are already being put to good use. Updates to the rooms—including new furnishings, linens, and bathroom renovations—are ongoing, as are improvements to the building exterior and grounds. Says Dan Brown, “Our guests enjoy a sense of history, but they don’t actually want to feel like they’re in the 1800s.”