Energy benchmarking in support of low carbon hotels: Developments, challenges, and approaches in China

Wai Hung Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving effective and objective energy benchmarking for hotels is integral in fostering the sustainable development of the lodging sector. In this work, we reveal the major and minor streams of hotel energy benchmarking and ascertain that the most popular approach in benchmarking is normalized energy use intensity (EUI) based on floor level. Previous efforts to establish EUI indicators using subsystem average, data envelopment analysis (DEA), and regression technique are also studied. We propose that hotel energy benchmarking based on floor area is useful from the top-down management perspective. However, on a practical perspective, energy benchmarking based on facilities should be the first priority for hotel management or owners. Compared with the general energy benchmarking in the building sector, we find that the hotel sector lags behind in the adoption of computer modeling for benchmarking.By conducting in-depth interviews with hotel engineers, system designers, and professors to identify the challenges faced by current hotel energy benchmarking, we gain deeper insights on the development of hotel energy benchmarking that reflect the current situation in China. A taxonomical approach focusing on four directions of hotel energy benchmarking is thus proposed. By coordinating with various types of stakeholders and implementing the proposed development plan, the local Construction Ministry, Tourism Bureau, and Energy Improvement Office can realize this conceptual hotel energy benchmarking in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1142
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Energy benchmarking
  • Energy use intensity (EUI)
  • Hotels
  • Low carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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