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Excellence in Energy for the Tourism Industry: Hotel Energy Solutions (HES)

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The main aim of Hotel Energy Solutions was to help hoteliers reduce their operational costs while increasing their competitiveness and sustainability. To do so, the project developed the HES E-toolkit, an innovative online tool that empower and guide hotels to better understand their energy consumption and show them how to improve energy management and cut costs. More specifically, the toolkit enables hotels to compare their current energy use to similar enterprises and provides support in ranking practical and cost-effective investment options in the field of sustainable energy. The project has also developed a series of communication materials that hoteliers can use to sensitize their guests and staff on energy efficiency as well as a series of key scientific publications on energy efficiency and RES in hotels.


  • HES E-toolkit – a free of charge innovative online software application that offers energy use data analysis, decision-making support and recommendations for investing in EE and RE technologies, ROI calculator, as well as a carbon footprint calculator. Available here:
  • HES Video and E-brochure – communication tools for use by hoteliers in support of transmitting the importance of energy savings to their guests.
  • Supporting materials – baseline information and research publications concerning the most suitable EE and RE technologies, practices and incentives available for hotels.
  • Networking opportunities – besides others, two HES annual conferences & exhibitions as a unique opportunity for hoteliers, tourism organisations, EE and RE technology providers, energy experts, and other interested professionals, to exchange their knowledge and work jointly on identifying the best solution in response to the energy needs of the accommodation sector.
  • HES Website ( and HES E-zine – an interactive online platforms for learning and sharing on EE and RE technologies, which will remain active for 2 years after the project is compilted.

Lessons learned

  • Half of the world's hotels are located in Europe and 9 out of 10 of these are SME hotels. In addition, hotels are among the top five types of buildings in the service sector for energy consumption, after food production, sales and health care. For instance, a typical hotel annually consumes around 320 kWh/m² and releases between 160-200 kg of CO2 per m2 of room floor area.
  • A growing number of tourism businesses are voluntarily participating in labeling and certification initiatives as pressure from customers and the private sector grows. Big European tour operators are now accounting for their carbon footprint and that of their supply chain to demonstrate environmentally or socially sound practices. The HES E-Toolkit can be an asset to these companies in moving towards better energy management.
  • The engagement of local authorities and industry associations in assisting SMEs has been crucial for the success of the project implementation. The pilot testing shows that destinations have a major role to play in promoting energy performance improvements in their hotel sectors – this helps the destination to be more sustainable and to face future challenges regarding the environment and competitiveness.

Partners and coordinator

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United Nations World Tourism Organization
Contact point: 
Zoritsa Urosevic
00 34 91 567 81 66


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In brief

01/09/2008 to 31/08/2011
Contract number: 

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