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Mediterranean: Energy efficient solutions help the hotel sector grow


19 May 2017

Mediterranean: Energy efficient solutions help the hotel sector grow

Technologies are ready to cut the energy bill of hotels and increase the comfort of guests. We can unlock the opportunities hidden inside buildings, and not only save energy, but set free resources and enable investments. Studies and real cases show the enormous potential.

Danfoss presented cost-effective energy efficiency investments for the hotel sector to energy ministers from the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean at their High-level Meeting on Energy Efficiency in the Mediterranean in Malta on 18 May 2017.

Energy use is crucial to the hotel business. Energy costs are the second-largest operating expense for hotels after wages and represent up to 10% of all operating costs. In an average hotel in the Mediterranean, almost 60% of energy is used for heating and cooling, making this the major area for improvement. Another one is the energy-intensive desalination of water that many hotels do on-site.

Optimizing technical building systems

Thus, it is no surprise that the key to transforming a hotel into a highly efficient and smart building lies in optimizing the systems responsible for heating, cooling and ventilation – collectively known as the “technical building system”. An optimized technical building system efficiently maintains the right temperature and air quality to provide the best comfort for guests.

When these systems are not working optimally, energy goes to waste, they cost money and cause damage to the health and the environment. But we have the technologies to prevent this.

A new study by consultancy Ecofys, a Navigant company, shows that the energy consumption of buildings could be reduced on average by 30% through upgrades to the technical building system. The investment cost for basic improvements of controls of energy flows inside buildings is low, and the payback time is two years to get the basics right. This is a huge opportunity for the hotel sector, and for the Mediterranean region.

Hotels play an important part in the Mediterranean economy. With more than 300 million tourists coming every year, the Mediterranean is the number one tourist area worldwide.

Based on Eurostat and World Bank statistics, we can say that in the Mediterranean area, hotels spent yearly around € 6 billion on their energy bills. Considering that 30% energy savings can be achieved by optimizing technical building systems, the total potential energy savings from these solutions are about € 1.2 billion.

Efficient desalination makes hotels self-sufficient

For hotels and wellness resorts located in the Mediterranean area, on sea coast or islands, where natural water resources are an issue, the provision with high quality drinking water can be a serious challenge. A reliable and energy-efficient desalination system ensures an independent water supply and makes a hotel self-sufficient in terms of clean water for drinking and showering, and water for spa and pool facilities – no need to rely on the local public water supply. Desalination and water reuse can help hotels which have limited freshwater resources narrow the gap between freshwater withdrawals and sustainable supply.

According to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016, desalination and water re-use meet less than 1% of global water needs today, but these processes account for almost a quarter of total energy consumption in the water sector. By 2040, they are expected to account for 4% of water supply, and 60% of the water sector’s energy consumption. That means that it is essential to make the process as energy efficient as possible.

Stable and ambitious regulatory framework needed

Ernesto Ubieto, President of Danfoss South European Region, had a clear message to policy-makers: “The technology is already available and it is working. Simple measures with a short payback time can yield enormous energy savings and bring multiple benefits for hotels – not only reducing their energy bill but also improving the comfort of guests. However, market failures prevent the wider deployment of innovative solutions. What we need is a stable, consistent and long-term regulatory framework that is ambitious on energy efficiency.”


For more information:

Danfoss Media Relations

+45 70 20 44 88

Related links:

Download the Ecofys study on technical building systems at

Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. We meet the growing need for infrastructure, food supply, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions. Our products and services are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. We are also active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Our innovative engineering dates back to 1933 and today Danfoss is a world-leader, employing more than 25,000 employees and serving customers in more than 100 countries. We are privately held by the founding family. Read more about us at


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