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Continued: Honeywell's Inncom purchase secretly cuts hotel room energy costs

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 17, 2013 - 10:40 AM

Inncom also offers fancier systems for high-end “presidential suites” that can run $1,000 or more per room. Such sensors can automatically turn on lights, shut or open drapes, lower the minibar temperature, and turn on music and fireplaces as soon as the well-heeled guest checks in at the front desk.

For most hotels, however, the real beauty of the system is that it whacks down their energy bills.

Before Kimpton Hotels bought the Grand Hotel in Minneapolis nearly three years ago, “This place was a huge energy drain. But now we are saving money,” said chief engineer Peter Huncovsky, while checking room temperatures on his Inncom monitor inside the hotel server room.

Up on the computer screen popped a rotating 3-D map of the guts of the Grand Hotel. “This shows every guest room from floors six to 15,” Huncovsky said. Squares with different shades of green indicated specific temperatures ranging from 66 to 78 degrees.

Taking a visitor to the nine-room presidential suite where Denzel Washington and former President Jimmy Carter have stayed, Huncovsky noted that Inncom’s software had automatically set the empty suite to an energy-saving 72 degrees.

“It used to be that we left it to housekeeping to set the thermostat in every room,” he said. “Now that doesn’t happen. This is a piece of the whole energy-saving pie.”

 

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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  • At the Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, an Inncom monitoring system automatically cuts back on heating or air conditioning in unoccupied guest rooms. Temperatures are monitored via computer screen.

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