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Creating a Sustainable Spa

By: Frederic Holzberger
Posted: May 27, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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And while we’re on the subject of lighting, there are many great new options in energy-saving bulbs. Fluorescent and metal halide lamps reduce heat and energy waste. If you are not up to speed on the many options available, I recommend going to a hardware store and asking someone in the lighting department to help educate you. These bulbs are not always right for every area of a spa, so be sure to learn about their applications and use them in the right places. Skylights are also a great option if you are in the designing mode. They enhance natural lighting and reduce the need for energy-eating supplemental light fixtures.

The energy efficient way

Next, consider the laundry. Front-load washers use 65% less energy and one-third less water than top-loading washers, so if you are remodeling or building a new spa, consider this update.

On the horizon—and another thing to think about if you’re planning a new spa—are electric tankless hot water heaters for hot water on demand in place of standard hot water heater tanks. These are currently available in the residential market and some business applications. There also are washing machines currently available that heat only the water they need rather than the entire household water tank. Water heaters that hold gallons and gallons of water and heat that water 24/7take up valuable space and are wasteful. I predict they will be obsolete in about ten years.

In every area of your business, I encourage you to find the most environmentally friendly products available. Look for the Energy Star label on appliances and systems, such as air conditioning; this rating is equivalent to an environmental seal of approval and ensures that less energy than the required federal efficiency is used. Use the Web site www.energystar.gov, clicking on the tab for “Buildings & Plants,” to get useful environmental information on putting Energy Star savings into practice.

Also, check with your local gas and electric power provider regarding your utilities, as many retrofit and construction changes you make to lighting, commercial washers and HVAC systems offer you cash incentives for installing high-efficiency equipment. Don’t hesitate, it could save you a lot of money now and in the future. And while you are there, look at savings for home.