5 Ways Solar Power Helps Hotels and Resorts Save Money and Draw More Customers

Running a hotel or resort business isn’t easy. Every year in most locations, your profits depend heavily on factors that are outside of your control, such as weather, economic conditions, and tourism trends.

Hotels also often face excess taxes from various municipalities that other businesses don’t have to pay. Besides that, there are many fixed costs, from a large staff to your various utility bills that eat into your profit margin.

In good times, profit margins are great. In lean times, you can quickly fall into a tailspin because your bills don’t go away.

This is why any strategies that allow a hotel to reduce their fixed expenses can make a huge difference to long term profit margins and business stability.

This is the principal benefit of solar power for hotels.

The great news is, saving money isn’t the only reason resorts and hotels should give solar power a serious look. Let’s look at five ways solar power can help your hotel or resort grow its business while saving money at the same time.

1. Solar Power Provides Instant Savings on Energy Bills

The moment your system goes online, you start saving money. Your solar expense is a fixed cost that will eventually be paid off. But it will continue producing energy through and beyond the 25-year warranty lifespan of most solar panels.

If you can pay off your solar investment in under ten (or under five) years, you’ll have decades of dramatically reduced fixed energy costs.

As one small business site puts it in an article with tips on how to increase your hotel’s profit margins, “A building designed for energy efficiency will lower utility bills for decades to come.”

Another hotel industry article says, “Even if a hotelier finances their solar setup through a third party, there’s often an immediate improvement in cash flow because the utility savings amount to more than the monthly finance payment to the third party.” 

Because hotels use so much energy, even financing a solar power system often produces an immediate savings in monthly expenses.

One Las Vegas resort financed their solar array with a 10-year loan, and even within that first ten years, they project a 20% net profit. And after the loan is paid off, annual profit margins will leap skyward.

Energy Star estimates hotels spend $2196 per room annually – just on energy. 60% of that comes from lighting, HVAC, and water heating. Yes, you can probably make some energy efficiency improvements in these areas. But those can only take you so far (and usually incur their own investment costs and payback periods).

Solar smashes a much bigger hole in your expenses, does it immediately, and has a faster payback period than most other improvements you could make.

Here’s the simplest way to say it:

Given enough time, solar power always produces a positive return on investment. With hotels and resorts, it’s virtually guaranteed because they use so much energy.

See examples of hotels with solar power, including one with a payback period of under 8 years.

2. Solar Power Demonstrates Your Hotel’s Environmental Stewardship

The environmental benefits of hotels using solar power cannot simply be written off.

To make a measurable impact in national energy usage, the big energy consumers will have to get in the game and commit to making a difference. In terms of energy usage, hotels are much bigger players than residences.

A hotel that generates even 20% of their energy from solar power has the same effect as multiple homes doing the same thing. Here are the greatest environmental benefits of solar power in hotels:

  • Creates energy without emissions
  • Uses few resources (no trees, no coal, no other fossil fuels)
  • Doesn’t harm wildlife (like dams and wind turbines can)
  • Cuts CO2 and other air pollutants
  • Gives you LEED points

LEED is a building certification program that assigns point values to structures based on their energy efficiency. High LEED scores bring prestige and positive press along with the financial benefits that come with those.

3. Solar Helps Hotels Improve the Customer Experience

One popular place to install solar panels in hotels and resorts is to use your carport rooftops. If you don’t have any carports, you can build them specifically for the solar panels. The panels are the roof!

This approach greatly expands the available space on hotel and resort properties for solar power.

But it also improves the customer experience.

Parking in the shade is a major perk. It’s one reason people like garages. You get out of your car and remain dry if it’s raining, and cool if it’s hot. Your car is protected. When customers see they get to park in the shade, AND that same shade exists because the hotel uses solar power to generate electricity, that customer will be both happy and impressed.

What do happy and impressed customers do?

They leave five-star reviews.

Solar power also enables you to provide additional outdoor lighting without adding to your bill. Likewise, you can use solar panels to power charging stations for electric vehicles. Again, these are major wins for customers who value environmental stewardship – and many do.

Given a choice, how many customers will choose a hotel with solar power vs a hotel without it?

When you consider the implications that has for your marketing, you realize the ROI from your solar power extends beyond just your electric bill. You will likely get more business if you have solar power.

4. Solar Power Improves Your Hotel’s Media and Public Perception

Businesses need all the positive media coverage they can get. When a big local business goes solar, the media loves to report on it.

Take advantage of the free and positive publicity you can leverage through solar power. Your hotel or resort will be seen as a force for good, helping the environment, reducing pollution, and fighting climate change.

Your public perception will be further strengthened by the economic and business benefits your solar power provides for the community. Your hotel will be supporting local jobs through whichever solar company you use.

5. Solar Power Frees Up Money to Re-Invest in the Hotel

Hopefully you’re realizing the marketing potential solar power will provide your hotel or resort. There are so many solar power benefits. Few hotels in your area are likely doing this. Possibly none of them.

Business and marketing success thrive on differentiation.

Learn more about tax incentives for solar, how much solar costs, and how to pay for your solar power installation.

If your hotel is the only one in the area with solar panels, you can plaster that all over your You’ll be almost universally admired and respected for going solar.

Furthermore, with the money you’ll be saving on energy, you can re-invest that in marketing without having to increase your expenses. Your solar power will free up cash flow.

You can also invest your energy savings in upgrades to the hotel, remodeling, and improved customer experience services. Now’s your chance to make those improvements you’ve always wanted to make.

If solar power can save you several thousand dollars every month, that’s a permanent improvement to your profit margins. Eve