Energy efficiency has become an important issue for businesses across the globe, including hotels in Scotland. As a hotel, we use a lot of energy, as many do, but when we started our renovation process back in 2012, we recognised that with the right measures in place, significant savings could be made which would allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and, as a consequence, save money on our energy bills.

Scotland is a country with a strong commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and has set ambitious targets to become a net-zero society by 2045. We are a small business but we very much align ourselves with that goal and are well on our way to achieving it.

One of the simplest ways that we could achieve in improving our energy efficiency was by switching to LED lighting. LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they last much longer too. We also recognised that there are several areas in the building that do not need to be lit all day so input a PIR system which operates with a sensor to determine when people are present and then turns the lights off or on accordingly.

Heating is another area where we determined that we could enhance our energy efficiency with a recent (2023) installation at the Dowans of a new boiler and with our renovation at 1881, a new one from the get go with a water ‘mega flow’ attached to the boiler which allows a more efficient control of energy consumption. At the Dowans, our mega flows, which allow for a powerful shower operation (for guest satisfaction), are operated by electricity – as a bigger property, we couldn’t attach them to a boiler as at 1881 but they still allow for a controlled understanding of our energy usage.

As a further measure, our arrival letters include guests in our sustainability story which allows us to share with them our journey and how they can help us to minimise on our energy wastage by turning the lights off when they leave their rooms for the day.