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Energy conservation reduces expenses of Cuban Hotel
The Grand Hotel rises in all its splendor in the middle of legendary eastern Cuban city of Camaguey. The 12-year-old building is welcoming, symbol of colonial architecture.

Recognized as one of Cubas best hotels in terms of customer service, the workers of this three star member of the Islazul chain have been trying to reduce costs for some years. Beverages, food, transportation... everything seen as an opportunity to increase efficiency.

Almost nothing escaped the eyes of the direction board and workers; but what happened with the energy consumption? " an element that, even though one cannot see it or touch it, represents a great part of any companys expenses.

The Grand Hotel was considered the greatest energy consumer among the seven facilities of its type belonging to the Islazul chain in Camaguey. It was therefore selected to implement the Total Energy and Efficient Management System (SGTEE), which proposed the optimization of the energy management system.

Guillermo Rodriguez Torres, Energy Saving and Rational Use Technician in the company, said that the implementation of the study, aimed at reducing the costs, not only allow knowing about consumption rate by equipment, but it also shows which are the equipments that should be replaced and which are the most efficient and the ones that should be installed.

«We calculated the energy consumption bulb by bulb and appliance by appliance in the entire hotel. High energy consumers were used much more than what was needed. We identified new key areas, with 15 high energy consumption places.»


Many initiatives have been implemented in the hotel in the first semester of the current year to reduce the total costs. Lots of them can be mentioned, but the ones that emerged in the middle of the transformations in the areas of the Cafeteria, Oven, Piano Bar and offices are samples of systematisation in favor of saving.

«With the implementation of this system, we realized that we had still some stocks to exploit. Six months after the beginning of this project, we have saved 41,300 KW, equivalent to more than $4,700,» said Heriberto Valdes Fontela, head of Maintenance in the hotel.

The implementation of this new saving concept by each key area identified in the facility was a radical change, not only in the way of organizing daily work, but in the up-to-this-moment perception of the Grand Hotels more than 100 workers about the saving policy.

Juvenal Guillen, head of the kitchen area, identified this as essential due to the ovens high energy and water consumption. She thinks that even though at the beginning things were tiresome and even a little extreme, then everything flew. «The oven was like a refrigerator; it was constantly opened and closed, and it was not easy to change that habit from day to the other, but we understood that it was necessary and we organized ourselves. Nowadays, food is prepared in groups, so the service is not affected and food consumption reduced.»

This same area came up with the initiatives, including the one to change the immense door that linked the kitchen with the lunch area for a window that does not let air to escape, preserving the climate of the place and extending the useful life of the refrigeration techniques.

«Small posters were stuck in all the hotels equipments. They contained information about their consumption, when they were supposed to be used and turned off, and the savings made for each hour of non use,» said Juvenal.

Other key areas did not escape from the energy perfecting. The Piano Bar, the Cafeteria and even the offices, equivalent to 14 rooms functioning all the time, readjusted their time to turn on the air-conditioners.


A new stage in energy saving came to the doors of this three-star hotel and with it a man looking for efficiency. This new man is Jose Antonio Rodriguez del Risco, the social worker, who assumed together with the management of the hotel the task of saving energy in there.

Jose Antonio has completely lost his name. For everybody he is the «TS» of the hotel and he is not only named like that because of the abbreviation in Spanish of his job but also because Jose Antonio, who is only 20 years old, walks kilometers within the institution and nobody knows yet how he manages to pass by so many places.

The new nickname came up from a comparison made by the staff of the hotel which shows how popular and loved this boy is: «One day I was walking really fast to the Cafeteria, when someone, in a friendly joke, told me that I seemed a TS motorcycle. They compare my fast walking with the speed of a TS, and after that day I am TS: Social Worker (TS after the abbreviation of Trabajador Social in Spanish) and TS after the motorcycle because Im always running. Truth is that I dont mind being called like that because that nickname shows that Ive won their respect for my steady work. »

"Was it hard at the beginning?

"Yes, like in all the beginnings. We had to talk and explain constantly the importance of the project until the saving habits were established. The success of the energy saving is in the unity of all the elements of the institution and the communication established among them.

"What is the biggest satisfaction you have received here?

"The results. And we have already started, together with Lida Vega, the manager of the hotel, to deepen and shape the strategies to improve the expense indicators.

A Technology Spreads Around

Sixty-five institutions in the province of Camaguey apply the Technology of Total Management and Efficiency of Energy (TGTEE after its acronym in Spanish). According to the information collected by Rolando Camalleres Alba, director of the Enterprise Basic Unit of Regulations of Electricity Demand, a division that belongs to the Electricity Company of Camaguey; after a first moment of diagnosis and implementation, it can be seen a tendency to the reduction of consumption of the different energy carriers in the companies involved.

Source: By Yahily Hernandez Porto, Odalis Riquenes Cutido and Osviel Castro Medel, Juventud Rebelde.

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