Since 1982, the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery—a family-owned and run 33-room inn and restaurant nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains—has welcomed guests with fine food, its own craft beer and an après ski ambience that has won numerous hospitality awards.
Cost control is important for any business, but it’s particularly crucial for a small, growing family business operating within the seasonal nature of ski resort towns. In 2011, the Inn received an energy audit, the first step in helping owner Scott Rice reduce energy costs while planning an expansion that included a new 150 seat function room, a complete renovation of the bar and restaurant, a new outdoor bar and dining area and the relocation and expansion of his successful brewing operations
Working with Rice and neighboring business owners, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) relocated a three-phase electric service entrance that improved service reliability while preserving the appearance of the town’s Main Street. That move set the stage for a series of energy efficiency improvements that received rebates and incentives totaling approximately $100,000, these improvements include:
- installation of an ozone cleaning system in the Inn’s laundry facility;
- installation of a condensing heat zone boiler;
- energy-efficient LED lighting, High Performance T8 lighting and controls in the main building;
- five air source heat pumps for heating and cooling;
- installing a high efficiency modulating domestic hot water system and a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
By building energy efficiency into his expansion plans, Rice fully leveraged NHEC incentives to help the Inn grow not only bigger, but also smarter. With these improvements, the Inn’s energy savings total nearly $46,000 annually.
“Visitors have many choices for lodging, meals and entertainment in the region. In this business, it’s essential to reduce our costs so that we remain competitive. We also feel that it is crucial to educate our guests of the efforts we make towards sustainability and energy efficiency,” Rice said.
That commitment also extends to the Inn’s staff. Using the energy audit as a road map, Rice and his managers develop budgets for capital projects with an emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation strategies. Future plans include additional refrigeration measures, kitchen ventilation systems installation of 2 solar hot water systems and retrofitting all 5 Inn buildings with LED lighting. Energy efficiency strategies are discussed at weekly manager meetings, and the staff has developed online tools to help with important maintenance tasks resulting in direct energy savings.
With their commitment to energy efficiency, the Rice family is as happy with the Inn’s bottom line as their guests are with their hospitality.
|Annual Energy Savings (kwh/yr):||536|
|Total Savings ($):||$44,889|
|Total Project Cost:||$297,086|
|SmartSTART On-Bill Financing||$41,414|