Every month, we track our natural gas usage in our facility. Rich does a meticulous job of highlighting our natural gas usage every month. Let me share some examples of the impact we have seen since taking over our little hot springs property in Ouray, Colorado. We used a total of 355 Therms (a Therm is 100 Cubic Feet) of natural gas in July 2010. In July 2007, our third month of hotel ownership, we used 1062 Therms, nearly a 70% reduction in natural gas usage during our tenure here. How did our little Southwest Colorado hotel make such a substantial difference in gas usage? We began heating all of the water used in guest rooms with our geothermal resources. We even added a guest laundry during this time period with two gas dryers and that additional usage was not factored out when computing our savings. If you take a month like January where the tempertures can hover near zero degrees even on very sunny days and where we must heat our facilities, we can see great savings as well. In January 2007, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs consumed 2259 therms while in January 2010, our motel used 1059 therms. Other factors influence gas consumption in winter months including overall temperatures as well as occupancy but we see this reduction of 53% as a substantial reduction. Some additional steps we took that we attribute to saving this much gas include new attic insulation, measurements and gauges that monitor performance (we notice inconsistencies much faster), and more energy efficient doors. Currently, we want to find a way to reduce gas usage even more but we are currently short on ideas. In July, the only culprit for gas usage are the dryers in the laundry. We have already purchased and installed two Continental Girbau extractors that leave laundry less wet than conventional machines. We have asked our guests to participate in a towel and linen program to help with volume where possible. What other conservation methods can we implement to save more natural gas? We would love to hear from you!
Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado
Once the Box Canyon Lodge had addressed the initial obstacles of the geothermal project, the project team was able to move forward towards a greener solution.
We received a USDA renewable energy grant in 2009 so that we could exploit our geothermal resources even more fully. Here is a description of the project that we completed. The project involved modifications for five different areas, the first step being the most critical to the success of the project.