“Solar hot water is a perfect application of renewable energy for hospitality in New Hampshire. Hotels and restaurants use a significant amount of energy to heat water for showers, laundry facilities, dishwashing, hot tubs and space heating.
Several properties either already have or are now considering the installation of this technology. Those that have often reflect on the new guests that stop in just because they saw the panels. They’re not just dramatically lowering operating costs, but also providing free marketing material.”
— Michelle R. Veasey, New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association
We live and work in a wonderful place. We’re surrounded by spectacular scenery; abundant wildlife, rich preserved woodlands, lakes and mountains, and we are blessed with a full set of seasons. Folks come here to visit and enjoy all these things, but at the end of the day, when they settle in at your hotel, what your guests want most is clean sheets and hot showers
You know how people can be if the showers are cold. They expect the water to be hot, and to last a good long time. But you also know that your cost to provide that hot water is growing. The fuel prices are on the rise again. It’s really hard to estimate where the price is going, but several indicators are clear: China and India are growing fast and demand for fuel there is growing along with it.
There are several strategies you could employ, from low-flow shower heads to more efficient heating plants. But there is something else that should be near the top of the list. Solar hot water is proving to be a great long-term hedge against fuel inflation. Imagine taking as much as 50% of your fuel usage off your balance sheet forever. That’s right, solar hot water systems can save you tens of thousands of dollars and last for 25 years or more with proper, simple maintenance.
Solar hot water is really a very simple technology. Just leave a garden hose out in the summer sun for a few hours and you know what happens. Yup, that hose gets hot—very hot. Now add some insulation, a glass cover, a storage tank and a little computer technology and you can make large quantities of hot water with that same free energy.
In New England we can utilize solar technology all year long. Clearly we will get more production in the summer, but even during the winter, production will save you money. Every degree you need to raise the water temperature from the well or street to a level comfortable for a shower costs you money. In the summer a solar system could cover 50% or more of that energy—and even in winter you could cover 25% or more. With the rising cost of fuel those numbers matter.
Solar hot water could eliminate any inflation on a portion of your fuel bills for decades.
The Edgewater Inn in Old Orchard Beach installed a solar hot water system custom designed to their occupancy rates to cover domestic hot water and provide pool heat. The system was custom designed by Seacoast Energy Alternatives to provide at least 50% of their domestic hot water and heat the pool all summer. During the winter months when occupancy is limited to weekends, the system has all week to build up enough stored hot water to cover 50% of that demand as well. In addition, the Edgewater had a problem with their laundry room being too hot costing more in air conditioning to keep the rooms above cool. SEA installed two heat pump water heaters that pull excess heat and humidity from the laundry room and add that heat to the solar store tank.
Crossroads House in Portsmouth is a non-profit homeless shelter. When they built their new building, solar hot water was on the wish list. Based on the bids they received, it was pulled from the list of things to be done. We, at Seacoast Energy Alternatives worked with the shelter and its plumbing contractor to find a way to make solar hot water economical. Now in the basement of Crossroads House sits 1000 gallons of water heated by 16 flat plate collectors on their roof.
"As a non-profit homeless shelter funded primarily through private donations, we are constantly focused on our budget. When we built a new facility we were looking for ways to control our long term energy costs, and with solar hot water we can see the cost savings every day that the sun is out. We’ve been happy with our first system and are designing our next renovation with solar hot water as well."
Chris Sterndale - Crossroads House
The Bar Harbor Grand Hotel wanted to cut their on-going energy expenses. Seacoast Energy Alternatives designed a system to cover 40-50% of the hotel’s three-season hot water requirements. The system has been running trouble free for three years now.
“The opportunity to install a solar hot water system in the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel jumpstarted the property taking part in green initiatives and earned recognition for the hotel as an Environmental Leader in Hospitality. As hotel guests are increasingly savvy about booking at green hotels and Bar Harbor becoming a popular ecotourism destination, the Bar Harbor Grand stands out as an innovative leader. Guests often comment on the panels that are sometimes visible and are so interested in learning more about the system that literature is made available at the front desk. From a management perspective, Jay and “his company” provided extensive education about the product and very professional installation and maintenance.”
–Abby Johnson Bar Harbor Grand Hotel
Interested in finding a way to cut your energy bills and their long term impact on your bottom line? Call us today and find out how solar hot water could be the best investment you ever make.