OCEAN CITY — Gearing up for the summer season, the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City is spending the spring becoming more energy efficient through the installation of new LED lighting in all public areas as well as more effective skylights over the hotel’s indoor pool.
The replacement of traditional fluorescent lights with new LED bulbs began in mid-March with project completion expected by the end of the month.
“It’s a huge energy savings,” said General Manager Mark Elman.
The LED lights, which can last up to a decade without being replaced, will cut the amount of kilowatt hours (kwh) the hotel uses by about 500,000 per year, falling from 4.3 million to 3.7 million kwh. This translates into a more efficient use of energy, making running the hotel greener and cheaper.
“There’ll be considerable savings on our electric bill over time once the project is paid for,” said Elman.
Also appealing to the hotel was the fact that the lighting change, which will encompass all public areas at the hotel including lobbies, restaurants, and the convention center, doesn’t pack an upfront cost.
“There’s really no out-of-pocket expense for us so the project essentially isn’t costing us anything,” Elman said.
Partnering with Efficiency Made Easy (EME), the Clarion won’t be paying for the lights before installation. Instead, the cost will be factored into the hotel’s energy bill over many months. Because the LED lights will reduce kwh needed, however, Elman was confident that the end-run cost of the transition will be negligible and eventually overshadowed by continual savings.
Elman also commented on the longevity of the LED bulbs and the savings there.
“They’re supposed to last for, they say potentially, up to 10 years before you have to replace one,” he said. “So there’s savings not only with the electric bill but also maintenance wise.”
In addition to the new LED bulbs, Fontainebleau also replaced the skylights over its indoor pool this spring. According to Elman, the new panels are roughly twice as thick and are opaque. The design will keep warm air in the pool room during the winter and cool air inside during the summer meaning the hotel’s heating and cooling system won’t be as stressed.
Between the two improvements, Elman said that the facility will be running more efficiently than ever and savings realized with energy will be reinvested back into the hotel and its amenities.
“Energy is one of our biggest expenses … if we can find ways to save on energy, it enables us to put money back into the hotel in other ways,” he said.