Snowy Owl Inn is going green in the White Mountains

Online PR News – 06-June-2013 –Enjoy a GREEN vacation, even in the winter, at the Snowy Owl Inn, located in Waterville Valley, NH. The Snowy Owl Inn has been awarded a Green Business Certification by the Green Business Association for their efforts to use less, conserve, and reuse and recycle where possible.

Having a business in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire is a joy that carries ecological responsibility. The owners of Snowy Owl Inn of Waterville Valley NH have taken steps to be stewards of the environment. They have invested in green initiatives throughout the Inn as a way of giving back to the environment. The owners know that if they didn’t care for the environment, eventually they wouldn’t have such a pristine place for people to come to visit and enjoy nature. The Snowy Owl Inn has been on a 5 year journey, that they never see ending, in becoming a place that uses as little energy as possible and makes smart choices in all consumable or disposable areas of the hotel. General Manager, Steve Hodges feels that “Going Green is an ecological, social, environmental and energy saving decision that we take seriously here at the Snowy Owl Inn.”

General Manager, Steve Hodges states “Snowy Owl Inn wouldn’t exist if this landscape wasn’t so breathtaking, we wanted to do our part to preserve the environment and reduce costs to our guests by keeping energy consumption low. Like everything, we do more every day toward this effort, but we are proud of our steps so far in this important effort.”

Snowy Owl Inn Entrance

Snowy Owl Inn entrance near Snows Brook

Some of the improvements included:

1. Changed all in room guest lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs.
2. All common area fixtures have been converted to High Efficiency Circline fluorescent.
3. Ultra High Efficiency Hot Water Boiler System (see details below)
4. T12 to T8 Lamp & Ballast Retrofits (learn more below)
5. Motion lighting in the lesser used hallways and lobbies of the Inn as well as in the public restrooms
6. Low flow shower heads, toilet valves and kitchen spray nozzles to conserve water.
7. Changeover of seven previously wood-burning fireplaces to energy efficient propane gas log sets with blowers which not only burn cleaner, but provide more efficient heating.
8. Stocking energy responsible soaps, cleaning products, and other laundry products both in guest rooms and in the commercial laundry center.
9. Letting guests opt to reuse towels for another day if they are hung on the towel bar, or change them if they are placed on the floor, as well as letting them decide to re-use bed linens to save energy and conserve water in the laundry.
10. Using recycled paper goods and office supplies and in the kitchen wherever possible, while moving away from plastics and Styrofoam wherever possible. The plastic drink cups for restaurant use are now made from corn for example, and are completely bio-degradable and compost able.

The owners at Snowy Owl Inn worked with the New Hampshire Electric Co-op over a two year period to identify and replace all of the lighting fixtures in the common areas of the Inn with high efficiency fixtures. These fixtures tend to be lit on a 24/7 basis due to the nature of the business. The work qualified for a rebate from the Co-op for the cost of the fixtures and some of the labor to install them. The Co-op engineer determined that the energy savings from the retrofit of these fixtures would be less than one year of operation, as the new fixtures were nearly 40% more efficient than those that they replaced.

The Snowy Owl Inn looked at its hot water production system. With 85 guests rooms, the hot water demand can be significant in a hotel building. Snowy Owl Inn replaced two outdated inefficient hot water boiler systems that combined were rated at nearly 2 million BTU’s with two ultra high efficiency Munchkin Boilers. Unlike the old system which ran almost continuously to heat water regardless of the demand, the new system only makes hot water as needed, and is capable of running at a lower setting in periods of little demand. This variable control system is really where the savings lie.

The system was rather costly to install, but again working with a low interest loan from the New Hampshire Electric Co-op they were able to complete the project. Estimates had this system paying for itself with efficiency savings in 2.6 years, but surprisingly enough the actual payback was just less than two years.

For a quick return on investment, replacing T12 lamps and ballasts with high efficiency electronic ballasts and T8 lamps is the smart choice. In many cases, this is the easiest upgrade since the T8 lamps and ballasts fit into the same fixture. The Inn replaced all of the old T12 fixtures in the Inn’s Laundry, Kitchen, Conference areas, and work spaces to T8’s. Lighting retrofits can provide energy savings greater than 40% while improving the quality of the lighting. These quality improvements include quiet operation, improved color rendering, and a reduction in HVAC costs due to less heat being generated by the lighting system.

The Snowy Owl Inn has dedicated themselves to the journey of conservation of energy and the environment. It is a fantastic business decision.

If you would like more information about this topic call Steve Hodges at Snowy Owl Inn 603-236-8383. Snowy Owl Inn is a year-round family vacation resort nestled in the White Mountains of NH in Waterville Valley.

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