Hotels and Laundry: The Cost of Water

The well-traveled business person will no doubt be familiar with staying in hotels — as your ‘home away from home’ hotels are a necessity in this current age of global travel. They can be found anywhere, from the smallest town to the biggest metro areas: according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2011 there were approximately 51,200 properties (places with 15+ rooms) in the US accruing over $137 billion in sales — That’s a lot of rooms to keep furnished and clean!

Housekeeping typically clean once a day — sometimes twice depending on if they offer a turndown service; in that time there are many linens to consider in each room that have to be cared for and washed. It is estimated that a typical 250+ room hotel will spend close to $14,000 a year on water and sewage costs on their in-house laundry operation, not including all the technology and energy costs that are associated with the cleaning itself! Many hotels even resort to outsourcing their laundry in an effort to cut down on operational costs.

Laundry accounts for an estimated 16% of water use in hotels — second only to toilets and showers, and is a huge area with potential for savings: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas reported that after installing more efficient laundry facilities they are now saving almost 30 million gallons a year, which translates into “a savings of about $135,000 to $218,000 a year” on water heating.