NWTO launches e-toolkit to help hotels reach zero-energy consumption

The nearly-Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) e-toolkit, which is available online at: www.nezeh.eu, assesses the energy performance of hotels and proposes measures to improve efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy sources towards nearly-zero consumption. The toolkit is the outcome of a three-year long project funded by the European Union.

The neZEH e-toolkit evaluates the energy performance of hotels through a questionnaire and identifies options for energy efficiency, including efficient use of non-renewable sources, while raising awareness on the topic through inspiring examples.

The project aims to support hotels in Europe to comply with nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) regulations, which all EU Member States are required to meet by 2020. An nZEB-level building must demonstrate high levels of energy performance. The nearly-zero, or very low, amount of energy required should be generated to a very significant extent by renewable energy sources, including those produced onsite or nearby.

UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said: “This unprecedented initiative shows not only the concerns, but also the high level of commitment, of the tourism sector in addressing one of the worldwide preoccupations: climate change”.

Sixteen hotels across seven European countries (Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden) participated in the project as pilot European neZEH Hotels. These are to become inspiring examples to the European hotel industry of how to implement best practices to achieve nearly zero energy level performance.

Preceding the launch of the e-toolkit, the policy implications of a zero-energy tourism sector in Europe were debated at the European Parliament on 17 March 2016. The event, addressed at regional, national and European policy makers, stressed the need to reduce legislative barriers and introduce supporting measures to promote zero energy growth and ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism in the EU.

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