With the price of oil plummeting by almost 50 percent since the summer, and gasoline prices dipping below $3.00 a gallon in many areas of the country, those planning on traveling in the coming weeks will finally have some relief. But will the lower cost of oil be enough to offset the shock Americans have had to their retirement accounts? Not by a longshot. (My retirement account has lost 28 percent of its value in the last year.) The lodging industry needs to continue to brace itself for some difficult times.
Complicating things for hoteliers this winter will be rising energy costs. In its final winter fuels outlook, the U.S. Department of Energy this week projected that natural gas prices would rise 17 percent, heating oil 12 percent, electricity 5 percent and propane 9 percent. Businesses and consumers alike are getting squeezed from all directions.
If you own or operate a lodging establishment, there is no better time to take a serious look at your operations to identify where there is the most potential for energy savings. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, towel and linen reuse programs, and proper preventive maintenance are a few examples of simple things that can be done. There is so much more, however, that one can do to reduce costs. Check out the "Money-Saving Tips" and other sections of Green Lodging News for ideas. Do you have an idea to share? Add a comment to this blog posting.