The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and its partners in the Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) initiative, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new tool aimed at lowering energy use in hotels.
The nearly-Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) e-toolkit assesses the energy performance of hotels and proposes measures to improve efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy sources towards nearly-zero consumption. The toolkit is the outcome of a three-year long project funded by the European Union.
The project aims to accelerate the rate of large-scale renovations of European hotels into nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) and complies with European Union regulations for nearly zero energy buildings, which will be in force by 2020.
The neZEH e-toolkit evaluates the energy performance of hotels through a questionnaire and identifies options for energy efficiency, including efficient use of non-renewable sources, while raising awareness on the topic through inspiring examples. Moreover, the e-toolkit provides technical advice to hoteliers and demonstrates flagship nZEB projects in the European hospitality sector.
“This unprecedented initiative shows not only the concerns, but also the high level of commitment, of the tourism sector in addressing one of the worldwide preoccupations: climate change”, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said.
Sixteen hotels across seven European countries (Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden) participated in the project as pilot European neZEH Hotels. The hotels are to become inspiring examples to the European hotel industry of how to implement best practices to achieve nearly zero energy level performance.
In Greece, the Arkadi Hotel, the Ibiscos Garden Hotel and the Sentido Vasia Resort & Spa, all located on Crete, are pilot European neZEH Hotels. The three hotels were honored this year at the Tourism Awards 2016.
The neZEH partnership includes ten partners across seven European countries: the Technical University of Crete-Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab (Greece), the coordinating partner for the project, along with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Network of European Region for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR), Sustainable Innovation (Sweden), Creara Consultores S.L. (Spain), the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (Croatia), the Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione (Italy), the Agency of Braşov for Energy Management and Environment Protection (Romania), the Federation of European Heating and Air-conditioning Associations (Netherlands), and ENERGIES 2050 (France).
The neZEH e-toolkit is available online at www.nezeh.eu.