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Hotels Told to Conserve Energy

A trade organization representing international hotels in Shanghai is recommending dozens of energy-saving programs to its members.

These measures include saving oil by collecting steam condensation from water facilities and recycling it back to the main boiler, monitoring the use of all air-conditioning units based on occupancy, doing laundry in the evening instead of during peak daytime hours, and installing water-saving devices in bathrooms.

"We proposed such practices to show that we are not only aware of but supportive to achieving an economizing-oriented society," said David Travers, vice chairman of the organization, whose membership includes 35 local four- and five-star hotels managed by international companies. "Expenses can be largely reduced with such practices."

A five-star hotel, Travers said, spends about 170 million yuan (US$21 million) a year, about 5 percent to 8 percent of which is spent on energy consumption.

"So it will be very significant even if we save only 0.5 percent," he said.

The Intercontinental Pudong Shanghai, for example, installed an air-condition system this July, which will help save about 60,000 kilowatt hours a month this summer.

Travers said these energy-saving practices won't affect the quality of the hotels' services.

"We won't remove disposable hygiene products (from bathrooms)," said Chen Xueyu, an official with the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission.

He said since the consumers expect these items to be in their room, simply removing them may dampen the hotel's reputation and hurt business.

(Shanghai Daily August 10, 2005)

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