Whitbread has completed the installation of solar panels across 88 of its Premier Inn sites in the UK, saving the company around £280,000 a year.
The hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator says the solar panels are expected to generate over 1.3GWh of power every year, with each installation meeting around 10% of its site’s energy demand. In addition to saving over 6,100 tonnes of CO2 each year, an average of around £3,100 will be saved on energy costs per installation.
Over the 25 year average lifespan of PV modules, Whitbread could stand to save £7 million on its energy bills from the solar installations.
James Pitcher, corporate social responsibility director at Whitbread, said: “Whitbread’s investment in solar PV forms part of our wider strategy to reduce carbon emissions across the business. It will support us in meeting our 2020 target of reducing carbon by 15%, relative to sales turnover and we’ll continue to develop our energy management strategy in line with the growth of our business.”
The panels have now been installed on 12% of the Premier Inn estate, which Whitbread says represents the majority of sites eligible for solar PV. However, the company added that it plans to continue investment in renewable technologies when appropriate as part of its wider commitment to carbon reduction.
The hotel sector is particularly well suited to solar energy due to its high energy consumption during the day from lighting, space heating and cooling and other operational requirements.