Nudge Guests to Use Less EnergyLetting with classic
So, you’ve stuffed your cottage full of insulation, replaced all appliances, switched energy provider and done everything you can to save the planet. Having followed Rob’s advice to cut energy costs to the tee, it’s frustrating to see an unaware guest put all your hard work to waste.
First, some perspective. We should accept from the outset that 100% compliance with green goals is not realistic. However over time, little wins across a percentage of guests mount up. So let’s aim to do our best in every area and appreciate where things are going right – green credentials can make the difference for guests choosing between two similar cottages so it’s worth going above and beyond, if not just for the sake of the planet.
The golden rule in converting guests to use less energy is to make it as easy for them as possible. That’s not to say guests are lazy, but simply a case of maximum result for minimum input – they won’t see the results of their efforts so they won’t want to put much effort in. This means complicated recycling schemes and rules for central heating are a no-no.
Instead, make subtle changes that don’t adversely affect your guest who, at the ed of the day, is paying good money for your provisions…
- Save water
You can’t tell guests how long they can stay in the shower, but you can limit the impact of their water-loving ways with water-efficient showerheads (more flow for less), reduced-capacity baths (less indulgent), water-efficient appliances (save water, money and energy without reducing performance), low flow taps or aerators and regulators (guests still get water, but not as much).
- Let guests take responsibility
Energy meters present a real time impression – and they’re still a bit of novelty so may present an opportunity to have guests recognise the consequences of their actions in a genuine and fun way. Of course this may backfire, but you’d hope the majority would be conscious of waste when faced with the numbers!
- Take responsibility for your guests.
Smart home technology – a sophisticated feature for the modern holiday home and to the customer experience. Clever systems can control everything electrical, with a small amount of initial set up – and can be managed remotely. From pre-programming optimal heating to total shut down when the place is empty, control is at your finger tips.
Now we’re not talking turning the water off when the guest leaves a tap running too long, but the key is optimal usage – putting caps on thermostats for example. Most smart systems will learn to recognise behaviour and suggest the most efficient set up for you, or if you choose, you can literally turn things on and off as you choose. Either way, efficiency is the watchword with automation.
- Let it be
You can only suggest preferred ways of using your holiday home – a paying guest will choose how they holiday. And rightly so, but that doesn’t mean you can’t influence their decisions. We don’t encourage signs and labels on everything – that makes it less of a home-from-home and more of a military operation. But some well-worded messages in the Cottage Information Folder can make the difference. The key is striking a chord and appealing on a friendly, human level. People rebel when told not to do something, so trust in their good judgement with a less direct approach.
If you’d like some specifics on saving energy in the home, visit http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/