July 10, 2017
Boston Green Tourism
...advancing the green hotel movement
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members, 

The presentations from the June 30 meeting at Hyatt Regency Boston  are linked and  summarized below. See the other sections, too.

Our next meeting will be September 14 . I'll announce the location in the next newsletter.

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Boston Green Tourism Meeting

June 22, 2017
Location : Hyatt Regency Boston
Hosts Terry Dunbar, Brian Gorski and Ganga Singh
Present Brian Gorski, Joe Riordan, Debbie Freckleton, Samantha Sorrin, Fabienne Eliacin, Dan Cook, Tony Castro, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Pamela St. Aimee, Kathy Clark, Dave Ableman, David Clark, Paul Reissfelder, Joanna Reissfelder, Dan Ruben. 

Hyatt Regency Boston's Belimo Energy Valves Project
Brian Gorski, Director of Engineering, Hyatt Regency Boston
Mr. Gorski discussed the hotel's project to install intelligent Belimo Energy Valves, which use sensors and cloud-based analytics to optimize chilled water-flow, and improve the facility's temperature control. The Hyatt has installed one valve already, and it works as promised.
Eversource paid for ½ of the cost to study this project. Once the study is complete, it will determine their contribution for the remaining valves.
The overall project cost, not taking into account the potential incentive payment, will be $260,000. Mr. Gorski expects the valves to save the hotel $70,000 to $80,000 per year.

Dave Ableman, VP Operations, Protek
Protek helps businesses preserve their properties, improve their indoor air quality and reduce their costs by:  
  • refurbishing furniture, including wood, leather, upholstery and doors.
  • cleaning HVAC ductwork.
  • decontaminating mold and bacteria.
  • addressing odors.
  • cleaning draperies and walls.
  • performing electrostatic refinishing. 
Mr. Ableman provided an excellent overview about how to assure healthy Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Providing adequate ventilation is paramount. 

Demand Controlled Ventilation prevents elevated CO2 levels in high-occupancy rooms. Dynamic air supply and exhaust systems, like Constant Airflow Regulators, control ventilation levels to protect IAQ while saving energy. Energy Recovery Ventilation systems transfer heat and moisture from building air to cool and dry incoming air.

David Clark, Lead Energy Efficiency Representative, National Grid
Mr. Clark presented opportunities for hotels to get National Grid support for energy efficiency studies, purchases of efficient equipment and cost-effective projects that cut natural gas use.
National Grid offers free scoping studies to hotels. These studies are performed by engineering firm professionals who conduct a several-hour property examination. They identify opportunities to reduce natural gas use and take advantage of National Grid incentives. The surveyors provide rough cost estimates for their proposals. If the hotel is interested in them, the firm will then conduct a full Technical Assistance (TA) study that details costs and incentives. (The examiners might identify opportunities to cut electricity use, too.)
Mr. Clark noted that hotels that haven't had a scoping study in 7 or 8 years could benefit from having another one.
National Grid also provides financial support for retro-commissioning studies and the installation of fault detection devices.
Mr. Clark listed some of the best opportunities for hotels to reduce their natural gas use: guestroom and building automation systems, high-efficiency boilers and boiler controls, heat recovery from exhaust air and laundry operations, efficient laundry equipment, mechanical and pipe insulation, steam trap surveys and repairs, efficient kitchen equipment, pre-rinse spray valves, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
Mr. Clark's presented three recent hotel case studies:
  • Two old boilers were replaced by modular, high-efficiency boilers and a new domestic hot water heater. The Mass Save incentive enabled the hotel to achieve a 3.9 year payback.
  • Constant Airflow Regulators were installed in hotel bathroom exhaust fans, which reduced the ventilation rate from 81 cfm (cubic feet / minute) to 40 cfm. National Grid provided $69,000 for this $118,000 project, which saves $53,000 per year. The payback was 0.9 years. (The hotel qualified for electricity incentives, too, which made the project even more lucrative.)
  • 464 occupancy sensors and BMS controls were installed. This $212,000 project was supported by $79,000 in gas and electric incentives. The project saves the hotel $75,000, and resulted in a 1.7 year payback.
Mr. Clark also noted that National Grid supports winter peak shaving projects for large facilities (Rate G-54 customers) that are subject to the MDCQ Seasonal Ratchet Charge. 

Fryer Management and Controlling Moisture in Refrigerators
Paul Reissfelder, Boston Franchise Owner, Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions
Joanna Reissfelder, Operations Manager, Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions
Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions serves restaurants across the U.S. The speakers discussed two of their services.
FiltaFry is a fryer management service. Filta staff perform on-site micro-filtration of cooking oil--which doubles its lifespan. They also clean fryers, which reduces grease build-up and improves energy efficiency and worker safety. See the 3-minute video about it here
FiltaCool lowers excess humidity inside refrigeration units through the use of minerals. It retards food spoilage, saves energy and reduces mold and odors. See the 2-minute video about it here.


The Langham, Boston Saves $37,000 / Year by Installing Variable Frequency Drives on Medium and Small Motors;
Similar Opportunities Exist at Most Hotels
The Langham, Boston had ICS Corp install variable frequency drives (VFDs or VSDs) on 14 medium and small motors that operate their air handler and cooling tower fans. The motors range in size from 3 to 30 HP. 

According to Landon Fritz, Senior Vice President and Lead Director of Technology at ICS, every hotel he visits has motors that would benefit from VFDs--and these installations are very economical. Many properties have VFDs on their largest motors (30 HP), but not on their medium (7.5 HP - 25 HP) or small (≤ 5 HP) ones.
VFDs adjust motor speeds and torque to match output requirements needed by the process. With VFDs, motors that have only two speeds ("on" and "off") become units that use only the amount of energy necessary to do a particular job. VFD's cut equipment energy use by up to 70%.
The Mass Save incentive from Eversource made the project very compelling. Further, The Langham, Boston didn't have to pay the portion covered by Mass Save up front. ICS accepts the payment straight from the utility.
The ICS analysis shows that the project will save Langham Boston $37,000 and 265,000 kWh's per year.
Joe Riordan, Assistant Chief Engineer at The Langham, Boston said, "This was a great efficiency project for the hotel to accomplish [and it helps the hotel maintain its] GOLD EarthCheck status. The smaller units were the last phase of HVAC components to receive VSD technology... In the past it was not cost effective to install VSDs on these units. After partnering with ICS and Eversource we are able to capture the energy savings on these units and operate our building more efficiently. ICS worked closely with all parties to make the entire process seamless."
VFDs extend motor life because the motors work easier, as they do not need to constantly run at full speed. VFDs also make motors quieter, because they run at slower speeds and have a soft start-up that prevents squealing. 
The process for installing VFDs is long, but ICS does the majority of the work. They:  
  • Identify which motors would benefit from new drives.
  • Develop energy and engineering analyses.
  • Write and submit an incentive application to the appropriate utility.
  • Answer the utility's questions.
  • Order and install the equipment.
  • Commission the project.
  • Process the incentive payment with the utility. 
VFDs have a life expectancy of 15 - 20 years. Properties often qualify for a Mass Save incentive on replacements, because new drives are more efficient than older ones.
Hotels gain an extra advantage by having their motors programmed to be controlled by the facility's BMS (building management system). These projects are separate from installing VFDs. The BMS vendors (Siemens, Johnson Controls, etc.) do this work--which is often supported, in part, by Mass Save.  When ICS installs VFDs, they write the rebate application paperwork necessary for performing these projects. 


Hotels can Collaboratively Purchase Renewable Energy with other Boston Institutions; 
Project Coordinated by A Better City

A Better City is coordinating a new, joint Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy. It's seeking businesses and institutions that want to buy renewable energy together, and gain the advantages of aggregation--financial returns, carbon emission reductions and a team of partners who will help bring this project to fruition.

Last year, A Better City facilitated a successful joint-PPA,which is explained in their case study, Innovation through Aggregation. In that project, MIT, the Boston Medical Center and the Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation (the "off-takers") entered into separate but coordinated fixed-price 25-year PPAs with the utility that owns a North Carolina solar farm.

Each off-taker receives a proportional number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) associated with the emissions-free power. And each month, off-takers will receive or pay the difference between the contract price and wholesale market price for the solar energy. 

The partners expect positive returns from this project over the lifetime of the deal.  The joint-PPA created economies of scale. That, and a 30% federal solar investment tax credit, made the project financially appealing.

Also, the project has generated great PR for all three organizations.

In aggregate, the project will result in the equivalent of removing >25,000 cars from the road each year; BMC and Post Office Square are now carbon-neutral; and MIT has abated 17% of its carbon emissions footprint. 

A Better City is working to replicate this initiative among a new group of partners. The term length, project, location, and pricing are flexible and will be determined by this new group with the support of A Better City and its technical advisors. This new collaboration is an opportunity for hotels of all sizes to make a major renewable energy purchase in an economical and marketable way.

If you want to inquire about whether this year's project makes sense for your hotel, contact A Better City's Miriam Posner (617-502-6257; mposner@abettercity.org ). Project participants must be members of A Better City--or agree to join that organization to complete the deal.


Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, June 22
Traditional portable food heaters, which use methanol or corn-based ethanol fuel contain toxic substances; must be treated as hazardous waste; send more heat to the atmosphere than to the food; are a fire hazard; and are too hot to touch. Safer, greener alternatives are now available.
Electric food heaters seem to be the best alternative when re-wiring is not required, because they eliminate the problems associate with traditional portable heaters, and they're inexpensive to purchase and operate. They also have accurate temperature control and timers.
Where electric heaters are impractical, hotels should consider portable food heaters that use natural gas or greener fuel gels like plant-based glycol or sugarcane-based ethanol. Look for products that are refillable, recyclable, efficient, adjustable, spill-proof, and that extinguish when tipped.


The following meeting will be 2:30 to 4:00. 

Sept. 14  
October 12  
December 7 Le Meridien

See you September 14! I'll announce the location in the next newsletter.

Boston Green Tourism
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