News analysis

Hotel room electricity and water use
  • More expensive hotel rooms use far more water and electricity than their cheaper counterparts, new numbers from the City Lodge group show.
  • The difference is bigger than the price difference too; a room 2.2 times the price of a cheaper option uses on average 3.2 times as much water.
  • For more stories, go to the Business Insider SA homepage.

The more expensive the hotel room, the more water and electricity it uses, new numbers from City Lodge shows – and the difference is huge, much bigger than the difference in price.

In an annual report published this week, the City Lodge hotel group broke down its average water and electricity consumption per room across its four major brands.

Those brands range from the relatively fancy Courtyard hotels, where a rack-rate "studio" room will set you back R1,601 in Port Elizabeth, to Road Lodge hotels, a few-frills outfit that will charge you R720 if you walk in and ask for a room in the same city.

Its 22 Road Lodge hotels, the parent company says, "caters largely for guests who are self-employed or from small companies, generally paying their own bills", and is about keeping down costs.

Courtyard hotels, on the other hand, are "designed to impress", attracting "guests who appreciate its clubby manor house feel and sprawling garden ambience."

That luxury comes at a cost. In its last financial year, the City Lodge group's sustainability report shows, the average occupied Courtyard hotel room used 840 litres of water. That is 3.2 times the 260 litres used by the average Road Lodge room.

Electricity usage too was vastly different. The average occupied Road Lodge room used 12.5kWh, City Lodge said, while an occupied Courtyard room used 31.9kWh – or 2.5 times more.

Or, to put it differently, while the a Courtyard room costs around 2.2 times more than a Road Lodge room, the environmental impact of staying in one is considerably higher.

And the gap is getting bigger. Between the last year and City Lodge's previous reporting year, the average water consumption for an occupied, cheaper Road Lodge room decreased by 3.7%, and electricity use was also down slightly, by 2.4%.

At Courtyard hotels, however, electricity used per occupied room was up by 6.3% – and its rooms used 18.3% more water.

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