Energy efficiency and water conservation are top-of-mind for all businesses today. The hospitality industry has stepped up its sustainability efforts with new and innovative corporate programs. Simultaneously, hotels are coping with escalating water costs and energy costs that have a significant impact on their bottom line. Research from McKinsey has shown that becoming more sustainable is good for the planet and is good for your bottom line.
Energy costs are rising and represent 7-10% of commercial laundry operational costs. Natural gas prices are at an all-time high. Water rates have been steadily rising over the past 10 years at unprecedented rates and since laundry operations in hotels represent 20 percent of overall water usage, it makes sense to conserve water.
Utilities are a controllable cost that is often overlooked when considering which laundry equipment to buy. New polymer cleaning technology swaps out up to 80% of the water needed for laundry with polymer XOrbs. By combining the XOrbs’ molecular structure with a proprietary detergent solution, dirt from soiled items is attracted and absorbed by the XOrbs, producing cleaner results. The reusable XOrbs have a lifespan of hundreds of washes before being collected and recycled for reintroduction into the polymer supply chain. Since the polymer bead system doesn’t require hot water to clean fabrics it can reduce natural gas usage up to 50%.
Here are four ways polymer laundry systems conserve both water and energy.
- Wash with Less Water - In the U.S., a hotel laundry service uses approximately 25 gallons of water for each occupied room every single day. Since laundry accounts for 20 percent of hotel water use and the polymer technology provides the ability to cut water used for laundry by 80 percent, a hotel can cut its water consumption by about 16 percent overall just by implementing this new technology.
- Wash in Ambient Water - Polymer laundry systems, unlike their aqueous counterparts, are capable of cleaning laundry just as efficiently in ambient water. This largely eliminates the need for heating the water used in the wash, which translates into lowered energy consumption. It is a widely accepted belief that laundry must be done in hot water to disinfect and kill bacteria. But, we recently put that to the test. A recent report indicates the disinfecting efficiency of our washing machines using lower temperature water of 68 degrees effectively killed bacteria at a 99.9999 percent rate for four bacteria types and at a 99.99 percent rate for a fifth type. This rate is comparable to conventional hot water washing. So, yes, ambient temperature water in conjunction with polymer beads can clean just as effectively as a hot water wash cycle.
- Shorter Dryer Times - Why should energy savings stop at the wash process? Washing in less water means shorter dryer time. New energy efficient dryers continue the energy savings throughout the entire laundry cycle.
- Look for Utility Incentives - In the United States, government agencies have implemented programs to help finance technologies that save energy, save water, cut pollution and help enable sustainability. To be considered for these utility incentives programs, technologies must be evaluated and adhere to detailed metric requirements to determine if the technology meets each program’s strict qualifications.
In efforts to promote energy efficiency and environmental stewardship more and more utility companies are paying incentives to businesses to integrate energy and water saving technologies and practices into their operations. A number of utility firms have paid out incentives to businesses converting to polymer laundry systems.
- National Grid
- Liberty Utilities
- Columbia Gas
- Denver Water
To learn more about utility incentives, click below.