The North Conway Grand Hotel

hotel680x375For a hotel that built a reputation on its distinctive ambience, the lighting retrofit at the North Conway Grand Hotel presented challenges and opportunities. The installation of energy efficient lights and fixtures promised savings of $8,000 per year, but hotel management wanted to make sure it didn’t come at the expense of the guest experience.

“In the hospitality environment, it can be difficult to improve energy efficiency and the bottom line without sacrificing our guests’ comfort,” said Doug Cohen, President of the Newport Hotel Group, owner of the North Conway Grand. “But working closely with our lighting contractor and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, the result of the project was improved lighting, lower operating costs and a better overall guest experience.”

Using the nhsaves Large Business Retrofit Program, the North Conway Grand took advantage of $11,135 in program rebates to complete an upgrade of nearly 700 light fixtures throughout the facility.With an estimated annual savings of 60,000 kilowatt-hours (about $8,000), the hotel will recover its project investment in just two and a half years.

It wasn’t the hotel’s first foray into energy efficiency – a 2009 upgrade to the building’s chiller resulted in improved performance and energy savings – and it likely won’t be the last. “We’re not done yet,” Cohen added. “Future projects may include LED outdoor lighting, heat pump technology, fossil fuel upgrades, water saving opportunities and possibly renewable energy.”

Earlier this year, the hotel’s commitment to energy efficiency caught the eye of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who hosted a discussion there with area business leaders about how her bipartisan energy efficiency bill would help consumers and companies save money and create jobs. Shaheen highlighted the energy-saving lighting retrofits at the North Conway Grand and its collaboration with New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, explaining how her bill would help expand initiatives like these.

“With energy costs on the rise and the economy still in recovery, energy efficiency measures are an effective way for American families and businesses to save money and cut costs,” Shaheen said. “Here in New Hampshire, we’ve already got consumers and companies taking advantage of this.” Tourism is the state’s leading industry. By helping the lodging industry manage their energy use, nhsaves and the state’s electric utilities are helping sustain a vital segment of the New Hampshire economy.