January 8, 2016

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  
Our next meeting will be Thursday January 14, from 2:30 to 4:00 at Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge.  
I thank our hosts: Al Vaughn and Michael Guleserian.
I hope you can come!
Adam MitchellPartner, Save That Stuff

In October 2014, Massachusetts banned businesses from putting more than one ton of food waste per week in the trash. Mr. Mitchell will discuss the state of food waste diversion one year later. What are the most common strategies and technologies used by hotels and other businesses? Which ones work well and which are problematic? Where is the MA food waste system headed regarding technology and costs?

For hotels that have their food waste hauled to compost facilities, how can they improve their operations and cut their costs? 

Stephen LafailleProduct Manager, Ilios Dynamics

Mr. Lafaille will discuss natural gas heat pumps for heating and cooling water. This technology is a form of combined heat and power (aka CHP or cogeneration), but it doesn't interact with the electricity grid. While it doesn't fully match the energy savings of electricity-based CHP, it could be deployed by downtown Boston hotels without approval. Besides that, it's cheaper and easier to install than electricity-based CHP, it qualifies for the CHP tax credit and the ROI is attractive.

Natural gas heat pumps qualify for National Grid incentives.

Steve Hayes, Founder,  Kleen Sky Distribution
Bill SchererPresident, Clean Green Solutions

Mr. Hayes and Mr. Scherer will discuss green-certified, safe technology that enables hotels to address common indoor air quality issues, such as off-gassing from paint and new carpet, cigarette smell, smoke, mold and mildew odor and more. It's now widely used in the lodging industry, hospitals (even during surgery), universities and other sectors. 

This technology acts quickly, enabling hotels to quickly put rooms back to good use.

Electricity Bill Demand Charges to Rise Sharply
Demand charges,also called capacity charges, will rise sharply in the next two years, as described by Usource Energy Advisors.

New England company electricity bills are comprised of several components. The formula is established by ISO New England.  Demand charges are a component that makes up 9% of the bill this fiscal year (June 2015 to May 2016). These costs are based on the total kWh's used by a facility on the peak hour of the peak day of the fiscal year, which runs from June 1 to May 31. The peak kWh figure for one year determines the demand charges for the following year.

ISO New England is increasing the proportion of the capacity cost  of electricity bills, because it wants businesses to reduce their peak electricity use--and prevent power shortages. Capacity costs will jump from 9% of the bill in the year starting June 2015 to 16% in the year starting June 2016 and 30% in the year starting 2017.

Hotels can deploy strategies to reduce their peak use--and lower their electricity bills. One way is to purchase software that predicts peak use based on weather, occupancy and hotel patterns. Of course, hotels should also take big events into account. When peak periods are predicted, hotels could reduce their energy use or release energy stored in batteries during peak times.

I have reported on recent developments in commercial batteries, and that hotels in CA, NY and HA use batteries to reduce their demand charges. Rising demand charges in New England and plunging battery prices might justify their deployment here, too.

I will follow this issue closely and schedule one or more speakers on this topic in 2016. 

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts

This new food donation guidance document helps organizations establish a food donation program. It covers: 
  • reasons to donate surplus food.
  • tax incentives for donating food.
  • what food items can be donated, and under what conditions.
  • food donation laws and liability protection.
  • food labelling requirements.
  • how to find and work with food rescue organizations.
  • links to other resources.
The following BGT meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00. 
January 14
March 10
April 28
May 26
June 30
September 8
October 13
December 1 
Sheraton Commander Hotel
Millennium Bostonian Hotel

The Langham, Boston

Seaport Boston Hotel

See you January 14 at the Sheraton Commander!