Good practice

Retrofitting for water efficiency: hotel case study

Retrofitting for water efficiency: hotel case study
© Andrey Popov, #145196365, 2019, source:
Food processing, Hotel and restaurant, Office and administration
Medium cost
Payback time:
1.25 Year(s)
Associated cost savings: Water:
24% / 2300€
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:

Guest rooms, the big water consumer

  • Audit reveals where the biggest water savings can be achieved in UK hotel
  • Water cost savings of 24 % achievable, and investment in a retrofit could be repaid within 15 months

The hospitality sector is traditionally known as a big water consumer. Efforts to optimise water use during a retrofit are rewarded in terms of sustainability but also financial benefits. However, retrofitting water systems in existing buildings can be expensive so a cost-benefit analysis of what can be achieved with existing building systems and products and new technology is important, and must be weighed against existing and anticipated use.

After a detailed evaluation of water use and costs, a medium-sized hotel in Sussex decided to invest in a new water management system involving building services design, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and fittings, as well as promoting water saving by users.​ 

Key impacts

The hotel has 28 guest rooms, a reception, bar and restaurant area, kitchen, guest and staff toilet facilities, laundry facilities, and staff accommodation. Specific changes included replacing showerheads and regulators, retrofitting dual-flush toilet cisterns, mixer regulators, water butts and hose triggers, as well as accompanying housekeeping measures to conserve water.

The audit revealed that guest rooms, including housekeeping, accounted for over 80 % of total water consumption, and cost analysis showed potential savings of 24 %, with a further 10-15 % savings if WC cisterns and hot/cold basin taps were replaced. The billing analysis also showed € 2 500 savings compared with the previous year; achieving the forecast minimum of 20 % savings. 

At these levels of water savings, the payback for the retrofit programme could be 15 months. 


"We are delighted to be saving not only costs but water too. Our customers have been impressed with the facilities and even though we are a budget hotel we are providing facilities above expectation. I wholeheartedly recommend other hoteliers seriously consider the improvements they could be making to their profits and the environment with some simple changes to their bathroom facilities and a bit of educational material for their clients." -- Hotel manager

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