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Hotel chains have access to a treasure trove of “big data” on individual hotels’ monthly electricity and water consumption. Benchmarked comparisons of hotels within a specific chain create the opportunity to cost-effectively improve the environmental performance of specific hotels. This paper describes a simple approach for using such data to achieve the joint goals of reducing operating expenditure and achieving broad sustainability goals. In recent years, energy economists have used such “big data” to generate insights about the energy consumption of the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Lessons from these studies are directly applicable for the hotel sector. A hotel’s administrative data provide a “laboratory” for conducting random control trials to establish what works in enhancing hotel energy efficiency.


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