This is a very timely thread Sybe, and forgive this post for being so long but I hope my ideas here can be of help to hosts who are struggling with the burden of rising power costs.
Even here in Australia where we are far from the effects of the Ukraine conflict we have been told to expect an increase of 50% in our energy costs over the next two years. This will take the average quarterly electricity bill from $600 to almost $1,000.
I don't think we can depend on governments and energy providers to get this under control......greed is greed and as long as we keep paying, they will keep increasing our charges!
We have to get smart.
As much as we (in ourselves) might be energy conscious, STR guests are environmental vandals, whatever it is, their reaction is, "I am paying for it I will use it" ! They leave windows and doors open! They will come in at 1.00pm on a 10c afternoon and comment how lovely and warm the cottage is. They will put down their belongings and go out for the afternoon and evening.....but not before winding the a/c thermostat up to 30c so they will have a toasty environment to come back to.
I had a couple from Singapore stay here on a pleasant night, temperature around 18c and they slept all night with the thermostat wound down as far as it would go so they could experience what it is like to sleep with a doona (quilt) on the bed!
we have to be a bit smarter than they are!
Air conditioning, heating/cooling is the most power hungry and wasted facility an STR host can offer so, what can we do to take this wastage out of the guests hands?
1/.......If you don't provide it you are going to be caned by your guests, they want to feel comfortable!
2/......It's no good telling them to be energy efficient, they don't listen or care.
In my working life I was a mechanical services contractor which gives me an advantage, I have taken passive measure to stop guest power wastage.
Electricity is not a big deal for me because with the amount of rooftop solar I have in place, I produce my own power. On a good day I can produce around 56 Kws of electricity but every Kw a guest wastes is a Kw I can't export back to the mains and get paid something for, so, here are my solutions!
1/.......If a guest wants to be cooler than 66f (19c) in the summer time, or hotter than 75f (24c) in the winter time.......they won't do it at my expense.
I have supplied a generic a/c thermostat and I have doctored the a/c temp sensor so that it will only work within a 5c temperature range. It will not cool below 19c on cooling and it will not heat any further than 24c on heating......no guest has ever complained and running costs are acceptable in this temperature range. This control is sold universally and the whole thing cost me less than $30AU to supply and alter.
2/......When a guest enters a hotel/motel room their key activates the power to that room....and stops the power when they leave and take their key with them.
Using this logic I have created a sensor mechanism that control the power to the a/c by the guests movements.
The cottage key has a transmitter attached to it.....
it's embedded in that leather key pouch. When the guest walks out past the front gate a timed sensor on the gate deactivates the a/c power circuit and the air con turns off 10 minutes after they leave!
When they return through the gate the sensor re-actives the power and the air con starts running again.
Some guests have said they expected the cottage to be warmer but, once I explained what happens they accepted my reasoning and the cottage heats up or cools down in less than 10 minutes so it's no big deal.
3/......To control the radiant heat in the bathroom I have the strip heating connected to a pneumatic push timer switch which can be set from 1 -30 minutes. I have it set for 10 minutes. Each push of the button will give 10 minutes of heat.
The guest can have as many 10 minutes blocks of heat as they like.....at least I know, 10 minutes after they leave, the heating will turn off.
So, energy is not a big deal for me. For most of the year it costs me nothing and I would advise hosts to follow these examples if they find their power costs getting out of hand.
I haven't put my listing price up for 3 years but, I haven't felt the need to.
@Mike-And-Jane0 @Laurelle3 @Gillian166 @Simon3475 @Mariann4 @Adriano78 @Ola9302 @Sudsrung0