Reduce energy consumption in your vacation rental

The top 5 ways to save energy in your short-term rental without involving your guests

Adopting simple ways to reduce energy consumption is at the top of the list for most individuals and businesses these days. The motivation is usually as a cost-saving exercise but the other important outcome is the reduction of carbon emissions. Most of us are now aware that the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy is the biggest driver of climate change.

Right now, communities all over the world are experiencing first-hand the effects of the climate crisis. Currently, there does not seem to be a day that passes when we do not hear of another extreme weather event. That could be super-hot temperatures with wildfires, or flooding and water bombs with massive hailstones.

As you are interested in the Sustonica validation, we know you are looking at ways that you can be involved in creating a more sustainable vacation rental industry. So check out some of the easy actions you can take which are part of the Sustonica criteria. They will save you money without impacting your guests. Plus they will mean that you are reducing the carbon emissions generated by your rental. You can also share your actions to reduce energy consumption by having a Sustainability Chart. This way you can proudly prove the energy and emission-saving steps you have taken as well as inspire your guests to do the same at their homes.


1. Use a smart indoor thermostat to manage heating and cooling

When guests are on holiday they are usually relaxed (or they should be!) and out of their usual routine. This can mean that they may act differently from how they would at home. Consequently, they may not be as aware of the energy they are using when they are away. This is particularly relevant if you provide air conditioning or heating.

There is a great solution to the problem of guests putting the air conditioning or heating on the maximum. Install a smart indoor thermostat, which can monitor what is happening inside your vacation rental. You can set minimum or maximum temperatures so that guests cannot create an absurdly hot or cold environment. Also, you can manage the heating and cooling remotely when the property is unoccupied.


DID YOU KNOW?  Installing a smart indoor thermostat can get you up to 2.73% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard

Why is it part of the criteria? Managing heating and cooling temperatures at sensible levels when your rentals are occupied can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. The other big plus point is that this will also generate significant cost savings.


2. Install a smart occupancy sensor to reduce energy consumption

Leading on from the point above, there are other smart technologies that can help you stay more in control of your energy bills. We mentioned that guests are often not so aware when they are away and may forget to do certain things. This is also particularly relevant to children and teenagers who do not have their parents nagging them as much as they might at home!

One of the common energy-wasting causes is leaving the lights on. So do consider installing a smart occupancy sensor that detects motion and that triggers a particular action, like turning off the lights. This could save you up to 30% off the average cost relating to lighting. This device will monitor when guests have gone out or have not been in a particular room for a while. You can program the occupancy sensor to switch lights off after a certain period of time. Your guests may even notice this is happening and then remember to do it themselves.

Conveniently, there are smart products on the market which combine both occupancy and temperature monitoring. In this way, you can also control your heating and cooling automatically when guests go out for extended periods of time. It also means you can provide guests with an improved level of comfort with a smart occupancy & temperature sensor. It not only switches off but can also put cooling or heating back on when the sensor detects there is movement in a particular room. Again this could be a technology that your guests would be interested in for their own home.

Learn how to reduce your energy bills with smart occupancy sensors here!


DID YOU KNOW? Installing a smart occupancy sensor can get you up to 2.73% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard

Why is it part of the criteria? Leaving the lights on is a very common way of wasting energy and creating unnecessary carbon emissions. It is such a simple solution to make sure they are switched off.


10% discount for friends of Sustonica. Mention “Sustonica” when you call sales on +34 871 15 38 51 . Visit their website here.


3. Make sure your light bulbs are LED

LED light bulbs are a very simple way to reduce energy consumption in your vacation rental. They use a lot less energy and last for a lot longer. You should be able to save up to 50% off your lighting consumption by installing them. According to the Energy Saving Trust, they typically last for around 10,000 hours or 10 years compared to 2,000 hours and 2 years for a halogen bulb.

Here is some more useful information about LED light bulbs:

  • They are small and compact
  • They do not get hot
  • They are available for almost all fittings and sizes
  • Switching from a halogen to an LED bulb will typically save around 5kg of  CO2 emissions
  • They come in warm, cool, or daylight versions so you can suit the mood and the setting


DID YOU KNOW? Having 80% LED bulbs can get you up to 0.36% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Replacing energy-saving light bulbs with LED light bulbs can offer savings of up to 50% in consumption on lighting.


4. Provide a clothesline or drying rack instead of a tumble dryer

As you may well know, electric tumble dryers are hugely energy intensive. They are available in a wide range of wattages, from about 2,000 to 6,000 watts. If you offer one, it is likely that guests will decide to do some washing and use the dryer, particularly if your property is a city apartment or townhouse.

Much better to provide a drying rack or a clothesline if you have outside space. Use your Sustainability Chart and digital guide to explain why you choose not to have a tumble dryer. They use so much energy and thus generate a lot of carbon emissions. The chances are that your guests are trying to cut down the use of their own dryer if they have one at home.

DID YOU KNOW? Providing a clothesline or drying rack can get you up to 0.33% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Tumble dryers are one of the most energy-intensive household appliances, creating high energy usage and subsequent carbon emissions


5. Install sun screening to block out the heat and maintain a constant temperature

As more of us are experiencing high temperatures in summer, the need for sun screening methods has become ever more relevant. However, they can also help to maintain a consistent indoor temperature in the winter, particularly if your vacation rental is closed for some months during that time.

There are lots of different ways to screen your windows from simple blinds and films to shutters and automatic awnings. Here are some ideas, many of which will be aesthetically pleasing in their own right.

  • Window Films
  • Window Shades
  • Awnings
  • Solar Screens
  • Exterior Shutters
  • Trees and Plants

DID YOU KNOW? Providing sun screening can get you up to 0.64% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard

Why is it part of the criteria? Allowing the sun to enter a room can significantly raise the temperature inside and increase the need for air conditioning. This leads to higher electricity consumption and carbon emissions.


By adopting these energy and carbon emission-saving actions, you will be showcasing your rental property as a sustainable stay. Not to mention the fact that you will reduce energy consumption thus lowering your electricity bills. The other upside is that you will be able to inspire and influence your guests to follow your example at home.



Your real superpower is that you can reduce energy consumption in your vacation rentals without affecting your guests. AND inspire them to do the same at home!

Print a Sustainability chart in your vacation rental and list all the things that you do with regard to:

  • energy efficiency
  • waste reduction
  • water conservation
  • respect of the community
  • promoting the destination



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