Green Hotels Association
    September 2013  

SAVINGS ON THE CAPE!

Since 1986, 13-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER the Cove at Yarmouth Resort has been a prime vacation spot for visitors to the Cape Cod, MA area. The West Yarmouth facility features 229 one-bedroom timeshare condominiums, and is the largest year-round resort on Cape Cod. For the majority of the year the property features occupancies north of 70%. In June, July, August and September, the occupancy spikes above 95%. With such a high volume of use, General Manager Michael Edwards was looking for ways to not only modernize the systems in the facility, but also to lower its energy and water consumption totals.

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He did that by initiating a number of retrofits that have produced significant savings. The biggest change was the installation of 19 Eternal hybrid water heaters (eternalwaterheater.com). �The complex previously used 23 100-gallon high-recovery hot-water tanks (199,000 Btu each), which were not overly efficient,� Edwards says. Edwards notes the new 98% efficient, 195,000 Btu hybrid models have resulted in an average natural gas savings of 17% a month since the December 2012 installation. �Overall efficiency wins the day,� Edwards says. �Cost was $91,000, and we�re saving approximately $1,700 a month on gas bills.� Edwards says a crane was needed to switch out water heaters in the past creating maintenance troubles and big expenses. �The hybrid models are about the size of a family suitcase, and are easy to work on. It�s a matter of unbolting the air, gas and water lines and putting in a new one,� he says.

Also on the retrofit list were the facility�s 27-year-old boilers which were original to the property. Those 250,000 Btu boilers were replaced with nine Weil-McLain ultra-high efficiency models (230,000 Btu, 95% EE rating). �With the old ones we had to package three together, and they were running all the time,� Edwards says. �The new models are variable-speed, modulating-condensing and are in a series together. They fire only when they are needed.�

Other green upgrades include the installation of low-flow, 1.28-gpf American Standard toilets, Oxygenics and American Standard 1.0 gpm shower heads, Moen shower valves and aerators. Edwards has noticed a 12% downturn in the facility�s water usage since going to greener fixtures.

Edwards realized additional efficiencies by installing CAR-II�s constant airflow regulator grilles in each bathroom. Greenheck direct-drive, variable-speed exhaust fans with dampers replaced the existing 21 exhaust fans. The new setup controls air flow being drawn from the rooms and thus lowers energy usage. Edwards also installed 165 LED lights throughout the facility (35 emergency outdoor lights, 90 restaurant recessed lights and 40 meeting room lights). The retrofit projects were aided by a rebate program from Mass Save (masssave.com), an energy auditing organization that provides energy audits and energy-efficiency rebates for homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

�Cape Light Compact is an inter-governmental organization that assists with delivery of proven energy efficiency programs. We worked a relationship with them through Rise Engineering, and got a lot of the project subsidized,� says Edwards. Cape Light Compact is a contractor for Mass Save in the Cape Cod area. �We made a capital investment of somewhere around $600,000 for the equipment we installed (water heaters and boilers), and we received more than $31,000 in direct rebates from Mass Save.� Edwards, who is investigating the potential future use of solar technology, is glad he went through with the sustainable upgrades.

�Before, we were wasting utilities,� he says. �The mechanicals� useful life had come due. It was time to do something about it. We�re very happy with the results.� Michael can be reached via medwards@coveatyarmouth.com.

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