How we helped Travelodge save £3m a year on energy costs

Travelodge, the UK’s first branded budget hotel chain which operates nearly 600 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain, welcomes over 21 million customers annually and employs over 12,000 staff.

Having recognised the strategic importance of sustainability, Travelodge has a long-term goal to become a net-zero business and has set out a roadmap towards achieving this target, ensuring that all its new build and refurbishment specifications across its hotel estate are redesigned to reflect this commitment to energy and carbon reduction.

Travelodge logo

Project Background

As Travelodge’s appointed Energy Services partner since 2015, we have worked closely with the hotel chain to identify inefficient energy consumption and make recommendations to remedy this by monitoring, auditing and managing energy usage, as well as deploying new low-carbon technologies to reduce emissions across its buildings.

Back in 2017, we collaborated on our first energy efficiency project installing LED lighting across the hotel’s UK portfolio. We recommended a trial for an LED retrofit which commenced in November 2017 at a selection of hotels that best reflected the hotel chain’s overall portfolio.  Full-scale rollout commenced in March 2018, and by July 2020, the project was completed with installations across a total of 388 Travelodge sites. The LED retrofit programme has saved 20.2 GWh or 4,283 tonnes of CO2e since its implementation.

Following on from this success, SMS served as the turnkey contractor for the installation of Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) in Travelodge’s hotels. As of 2024, SMS serves Travelodge with a comprehensive package of bill validation, net zero strategy leadership, energy audits, and energy project due diligence, trial and implementation.

This support hands Travelodge keys to an in-depth understanding of their energy demand and enables cost-effective decisions across their sites – all the while future-proofing their hotels with intelligent IoT (Internet of Things) technology

Building Energy Management Systems

Following the successful installation of LEDs, in 2019 we began installing new Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) in Travelodge’s hotels. BEMS are integrated systems that monitor and control energy-consuming outlets – such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their operation.

Having identified and assessed the opportunity for BEMS, we set functionality, affordability and other criteria, and managed a tender by multiple potential suppliers. This led to the selection of SmarterDM (now part of Glen Dimplex) as our partner for the implementation.

The project included designing, supplying, installing, and commissioning new controls to Travelodge’s heating, cooling and ventilation systems. These new units offer centralised control, enabling temperature adjustments at various times to avoid overheating and unnecessary heating when rooms are unoccupied.

The project also includes the installation of new direct electric heaters with integrated controllers and smart sensors that connect to the BEMS network as well as providing a user-friendly interface for remote monitoring and control.

Like many commercial buildings, Travelodge’s hotels were built with proprietary control systems. That is why we designed and implemented a BEMS that integrates existing controllers and provides supervisory control which delivers a seamless user experience and reduces energy waste through advanced technology.

Successful Outcomes

  • At the end of 2022, the BEMS systems had been successfully installed in 260 Travelodge hotels, typically saving 40% of the electricity consumed for heating in rooms and a similar proportion of electricity used by communal building services.
  • Installations have continued in 2023 and 2024; and once rolled out to the whole of Travelodge’s estate, it is estimated that the project will save more than 19 GWh of energy annually.
  • LED retrofit project was completed with installations across a total of 388 Travelodge sites. The LED retrofit programme has saved 20.2 GWh or 4,283 tonnes of CO2e since its implementation.
  • More than £3 million pa net energy and maintenance cost saving to date.


Utilising a rigorous planning process that brings together tangible insights into energy efficiency, practical implementation and real-life use have been central to delivering excellent quality solutions at scale.

The ability to demonstrate the credibility of energy efficiency through real-time savings tracking propels this project beyond the conventional approach of ‘conceptual savings’ usually used within the energy efficiency sector.

Wider Benefits

In addition to the financial and carbon reduction benefits, the hotel chain has been able to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability to staff and customers by the visual impact of LED and improved control systems.

The BEMS project also improves the control and monitoring of guest comfort by providing more accurate data on room temperature and the ability to change settings and strategy remotely, helping Travelodge make its rooms more comfortable than ever before.

Customer Appraisal

“SMS has been instrumental in helping us to deliver an integrated energy and carbon reduction strategy across our UK estate of hotels, implementing the rollout of LED lighting and smart controls at more than 400 of our sites.

This project was complex and had many logistical and infrastructural challenges, but SMS’s expertise in energy project management and system design helped us overcome them to deliver the project on time and on budget. These initiatives have allowed us to reap the benefits, each of them allowing us to reduce our operational costs by £3 million a year”.

Peter Litster
Director of Risk and Compliance, Travelodge Hotels Ltd

Our Energy Services

Through our Energy Services division, we help business energy users gain valuable insight into their consumption and identify real energy saving opportunities. By offering the resources, management and funding to deliver these opportunities, we assist organisations with the introduction of flexibility and low-carbon energy technologies that boost operational sustainability.

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