Tyler, TX Level 1
Had a guest that tried to get a full refund a day before sta...
Had a guest that tried to get a full refund a day before staying. Then when they realized they wouldn’t be refunded they stay...
I have seen many of you in the community talking about the increasing energy costs, something all of us are currently experiencing.
Airbnb provides guides with tips on how to save energy. The tips have been collected from the Airbnb Host community and reviewed by Futouris (experts in sustainable tourism).
Click here to view the guide.
You can also find a downloadable guide on via the link above, or simply click here. You can give it to your guests to inform them how they can save energy during their stay, or simply display it on a cabinet.
Which other tips would you share with the community, and what actions have you taken to save energy?
Are you interested in energy saving techniques and tips? Here's a comprehensive guide that provides valuable insights for you and your guests to save energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.
By implementing these energy-saving techniques and sharing them with your guests, you can make a significant contribution to reducing energy consumption and creating a more sustainable living environment. Together, we can make a positive impact on our planet's future.
**[Link removed due to safety reasons - Community Center Guidelines]
I am new to the hosting community and I am now just reading this thread regarding energy savings. So many insights - thank you all. Love the tips that have been collected from the Airbnb Host community and Futouris!
Hello! Has anyone had any experience utilizing a NEST device ? I heard this device can control electricity, electronics, and power remotely. I am considering purchasing one but would like to hear anyone’s opinions about this.
Thanks in advance.
This is helpful! I've been struggling a lot with electricity efficiency in my rentals lately. I haven't set any proper electricity usage rules with my guests, so that's a mistake on my end that they've been excessive with their energy usage. I'm compiling a list now and planning to face the price problem head-on with the help of this article**; hopefully, this year, the bills will cost less.
**[Link removed due to safety reasons - Community Center Guidelines ]
Hi Quincy, as usual I am a bit late on the scene but this is a topic close to my heart.
Whether we make a profit on our hosting or not is (to a large extent) depended on how the guest treats what we offer.
The most abused aspect of our hosting is the guests use of our energy.
I have had guests come in at 1.00pm on a 10c winters afternoon and say...."Oh it's lovely and warm in here"! They will put their bags down and go out for the afternoon and evening but, not before winding the A/C thermostat up to 30c so they have a lovely toasty environment to come back to. My ducted aircon struggles away for 10 hours with not a soul in the cottage trying to maintain 30c!
Not any more they don't!!!
I have doctored my A/C unit to only operate in a 4c bandwidth! No matter what they set the thermostat to, it will not heat above 24c (75f) in the winter and it will not cool below 20c (68f) in the summer time. If a guest wants to be cooler or warmer than that, they won't do it at my expense!
So that takes care of my major energy cost when guests are actually here.
To control my energy when they are not here, my cottage is a bit like that hotel room where you put the key in the slot by the door as you enter to turn on the room power. When you leave you take your key out of the slot and....... the power turns off!
My method is just a bit more subtle than that!
I have a mini transmitter attached to the cottage key......
Yeah, it's that yellow thing. And when they walk out through the front gate a sensor is activated by that transmitter.......
After a programmed delay of 5 minutes automatically the power to the cottage air con turns off. When they return the sensor turns the power back on as they walk through the gate, and it works a treat.....nobody has ever complained.
This covers my major energy wastage!
The other issue I had was with guests who want to have a 40 minute shower! Because we are not on town gas, it was costing me a small fortune in bottle (propane) gas!
I have left the propane heater as a back-up in case of electricity failure and I have installed an 80 liter mains pressure electric HWS which will give about 12 minutes of mains pressure hot water before it starts to go cold. It heats up again quickly but, it stops guests from washing away their top layer of skin simply because.....they can.
I have simplified everything possible in the listing cottage. All lighting, including the bedside lights are low wattage LED and are either sensor or touch operated. There are no light switches to search for or fumble around for in the cottage.
Qunicy, by doing these things my listing cottage is very energy efficient and with the solar electricity we generate, from month to month we very rarely receive a power bill.
Hey @Robin4 ,
That's great to hear! It sounds like you've put a lot of thought and effort into making your listing cottage as energy-efficient as possible. I'm sure your guests appreciate it, and it also helps you save the bills in the long run. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips! it's really inspiring for other Hosts who are looking for ways to save energy and reduce their costs.
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I don't want to be seen as 'grandstanding' again but, Quincy you have asked in this thread for our ideas as hosts for conserving energy so, I am simply complying!
"Which other tips would you share with the community, and what actions have you taken to save energy?"
I think we all realise, guests are environmental vandals and no amount of education will change their way of thinking. As @Lorna170 says the guests reaction is……”I am paying good money for it, I will use it any way I want”.
They don’t turn off lights when they leave! Their reason for leaving them on is, they don’t want to trip over something in the dark when they return. Fortunately new technology has given us energy efficient lighting to the point where leaving lights on is no longer an energy hungry issue.
I concentrate on the power consuming items like the HWS, air/con, electric kettle, iron.
I used to put cheap items in the listing cottage that I had purchased from the local community charity shop very cheaply, but you learn after a while, if they still work and they are in a junk shop……they are there for a reason!
As things have broken I have replaced them with the most energy efficient I could find. And guests teach you want to look for! They will test your powers of reason to the absolute limit!
I had guests who were here to attend a wedding and they wanted to iron their clothing before going. Half an hour after they had left I could here a beeping noise coming from the listing cottage. As it was a sound I had not heard before I investigated, and these guests had ironed their clothes, dressed and left, leaving the iron running on the ironing board cradle. Being an older iron it did not have an automatic turn off function…..it just kept beeping until someone noticed and turned it off. The iron I replaced it with has an adjustable sleep function which I can set from 5 minutes of inaction to 20 minutes. A problem I had never even considered, solved.
The Bellini electric kettle has varying heat shut-off settings! It can be set from 70c to 100c and I find the most used setting for tea and coffee making is 80c……..
It only saves maybe less than 30 seconds per boil but, over the course of a year the savings add up and the proof of it is in my monthly power statement!
Admittedly it is the middle of summer here but, I have to this point a credit of $170 to offset one or more of the winter power bills.
You always have happier guests if you passively control their power use rather than dictate to them what they should do.
@Robin4 I couldn't agree more with your environmental vandals comment.
Our recent guest complained the bedroom was cold so I looked at the heating system which is internet controlled and locked within the apartment.
The living room/kitchen was at 28C hence the bedroom heating had switched off. It turns out the guest was running 4 cooker rings and the oven on full with the door open.
I love your clever solutions but fear there is no technology that could avoid this massive fire risk!
Now the one thing I do not agree with in your post is the cultural vandalism that you describe. I am sorry but you cannot make a proper cup of tea unless you boil the water at 100C.
Yes but there is a cultivation amongst the English that appears to have escaped the rest of the world.
The art of making a good cup of tea in Australia vanished maybe 5 decades ago. Everything now comes via a Lipton teabag. Americans will let their brewed coffee sit for hours on a percolators warm setting.
I thought I had heard, or thought of them all but, using an oven range as a building heating device........yeah, that's another one that slipped under my radar!!!
The bottom line is though, we are not in this game to make cultivated ladies and gentlemen out of our guests. I might sound uncouth but I value my neutral energy expenditure more than some guests cultural expectations.
The 100c option is there on the kettle base but, not many use it. Each time I clean the kettle as soon as I turn the wall power switch on to make sure it still works the 80c light most times blinks back at me!
Maybe it's a carry over from our convict days Mike, I don't think too many of those poor sods would have got a 100c cuppa!
The approach we take is to try to prevent mindless use of energy by the guests by the implementation of energy-saving items (i.e. LED, low-wattage appliances), timers (that shut off things automatically) and the use of energy saving reminders here and there. I have yet to meet a guest not at least aware of the need of energy saving; unless they live in a cave and not a home, we do not get too many of those.
I believe this is the foremost the responsibility of the host and not Airbnb's, though any help on their part in this aspect of hosting is of course most welcomed and appreciated.
Hi @Quincy and thanks for your work on this. My question, and I've asked this elsewhere but Jenny suggested I jump in here, is why doesn't Airbnb automatically send the guest guide to all their guests? They know this would be popular with hosts so what's stopping them?
@Quincy Tips for hosts are great, but they are meaningful only to hosts. Guests have an entirely different perspective on utility use -- "The host is wealthy enough to have a rental property; why should I worry about their utility costs -- I am here to vacation and I will use whatever I like".
There is also the misconception that the rental property is "owned" by AirBnB and that this huge company can absorb utility costs -- after all, the guest pays a fee to AirBnB on top of the host fee, so why doesn't the AirBnB fee cover utlities?
It would be wonderful if AirBnB would think about how to educate guests about what an AirBnB is -- an accommodation offered by an individual host who bears the costs -- not a faceless corporate entity with deep pockets.
@Quincy A good start, but I do agree with the others that a guide for guests would be great too, maybe something sent along to them before or during booking.
I have noticed something of a trend lately, well my last 3 bookings. They have checked out and when I go in and have a look round. All 3 of these guests have left windows/doors wide open and the heaters on full !!! We have been down to -6 at night time lately. I do have in my departure instructions, please make sure all lights and heaters are turned off on departure. The guests are obviously not reading these, or just ignoring them ? Maybe yes, when on holiday they just don't think about those dreaded electricity bills.
I am sure there was mention in the "Winter Release" of a change coming to our listings where we can add these things and guests have to agree to them at the time of booking ? Is this still in the pipeline?
Hi Ruth, you are right, guests are not big on reading house rules but, there is a way around this.
Maybe this is possibly not a good work-around to publish here because if the Airbnb development team get wind of it they will in all probability take steps to shut it down as it does form host to guest contact outside the platform.....which Airbnb go out of their way to prevent!
As you know when a guest reservation is confirmed, in the booking details the guests phone number is supplied. I take note of every guests phone number because I find direct contact with the guest for arrival information far more reliable than working through the ABB message stream, which the guest might not have access to while they are traveling.
I have a pre-prepared text which I send to the guest's personal phone number on the morning of check-out as per this screenshot.......
Because you have alerted them in a way they cannot ignore, as they are preparing to leave they invariably comply.....they shut the windows and turn off the power.
Give it a try Ruth, I am sure it will work as well for you as it works for me!
Last week I had a guest I let them check out an hour and half later and I did ask them to do me a favour and turn the lights off and the A/C, guess what, they left the A/C running and that happens all to often,
Yesterday a guest calls me and says he cant pull the plug on the bath to empty it so my husband went round nothing wrong just the guest being Dumb all you have to do is press it and it pops up, they couldn't do it, same again all the doors open and the A/C running,
@Quincy I don't think there is another guide I would like to see, as I am not decided whether putting one in the listings is a good idea or not, as a lot of guests don't even seem to read any details anyway.
Also I do feel that guests when they come away they don't want to be reminded about the cost of living while they are on holiday. It is a difficult one to decide, personally I would be much happier for Airbnb to prompt the guests during booking, then to come across as a nagging host.
If I do decide to put one in, I will probably make my own guide as each listing is unique and has a different heating system etc.
Interestingly I holiday every year in a great big, wind swept and draughty rambling house on the edge of a cliff which is totally out of this world. It is privately rented out and there, we pay our electricity and fuel bills on top of the rent at the end of our stay.
I know I have filled that house with family and friends, had the log fires burning, the central heating running and cooked masses of family dinners and I have never come away shocked at the extra bill at the end of the stay, it always seems quite reasonable. It does mean though that I am more mindful of doors and windows being left open while the heating is on !
I think I would like to see this as an option for hosts to introduce.
@Quincy I think this is a great start! I do think AirBNB should communicate these things with guests as well.
When guests are staying in their own homes, they do tend to be energy conscious. After all , they are paying the bills, right?
The problem is when guests are on vacation, they suddenly adopt the mentality of, "It's not my electric bill, so what do I care?" They crank the AC down to 60 F/15.5 C or crank the heat to 80 F/26.6 C and leave the windows and doors open.
While some homes with strong Wi-Fi can implement tools to shut down HVAC systems when they detect doors or windows open, many listings don't have Wi-Fi, or strong enough Wi-Fi to have a completely smart home.
If AirBNB is truly concerned about excess energy usage and the environment, they should have it prominently noted in the AirBNB Terms of Service (vs leaving it up to hosts to add language in their House Rules) Guests need to be mindful of the energy they consume and they can be billed if they abuse a host's electric bill or are wasteful (i.e. doors and/or windows open for extended periods with HVAC running).
This makes it an AirBNB Community initiative vs making some hosts appear "stingy" when they ask guests to be mindful of energy consumption.
I could not agree with you more @Stephanie2468 , I am a novice to hosting, started in November of 2022 but already feel the weight of responsibility being put on the host's shoulders. I believe the energy-saving guide will hugely help the community. However, it's not enough for the guest to sign off that part that they agree to the house rules prior to confirming the reservation. I support the idea