Buildings account for 40% of the European Union’s (EU) total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Accommodation is responsible for 21% of the tourism sector’s CO2 emissions. While there is immense potential for savings in this sphere, the hospitality sector’s fragmented nature poses challenges to this objective. As EU directives for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) are rolled out, Europe’s hospitality sector will have to comply with these requirements.
The Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) Consortium was created to assist hotels to save energy, reduce their carbon footprint and build a more competitive and sustainable hospitality sector. It supports hotels to reach Nearly Zero Energy levels, in response to the EU’s commitments on energy efficiency and climate change (2020 and 2050 targets), specifically its policies of transforming Europe’s building stock into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings.
The neZEH initiative provides hotels with tailored technical advice, shares good practices and undertakes capacity building related to energy renovations. The project offers sound, adapted guidance, practical training and useful tools such as the neZEH e-toolkit. This free online tool assists hotels to identify appropriate solutions in the area of energy efficiency. The toolkit and the overall neZEH project build upon the Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) initiative, used by over 1,540 hotels to improve their competitiveness through resource efficiency. To date, renovation projects have been implemented in seven EU member states, with 16 Nearly Zero Energy Hotels supported between 2013 and 2016. Championing an approach can lead to a 70% reduction in energy consumption, these innovators serve as an inspiration towards a more sustainable hospitality sector.