Greening Tribal Casinos
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The Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino on the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians land in Southern California recently completed an extensive energy retrofit project. Approximately 10,000 lighting fixtures were replaced and the facility saved over 4 million kilowatt hours and over $570,000 annually in energy and labor costs. For more information, please see the Harrah’s Rincon Code Green Story (PDF) (4 pp, 1.6MB, About PDF) document.
Visitors and travelers are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of their travel decisions. They are looking for places to visit, stay, and play that implement green practices. Hospitality and entertainment facilities seeking to demonstrate their green credentials to customers and visitors should focus on reducing their energy consumption, thereby taking direct action to combat global climate change.
To review a presentation that covers a snapshot of a number of different energy efficiency programs implemented at tribal casinos, please see the Green Casinos: The Path to Maximizing Sustainability and Profits (PDF) (25 pp, 5.3MB, About PDF) presentation given at the 2010 Tribal Lands Forum.
Areas where you can create energy efficiency include (but are not limited to):
- Casino overhead lights;
- Computers and surveillance cameras;
- Slot machines;
- Kitchen appliances;
- Entertainment venue lighting;
- HVAC systems;
- Hotel room lighting;
- Parking lot lighting;
- Laundry facilities;
- Pools/spas; and
- Public restroom hand-dryers.
Provided below is information on EPA partnerships, tools and resources, tribal perspectives on energy efficiency, and energy efficiency information from the Department of Energy.
The Combined Heating and Power (CHP) Partnership is a voluntary program seeking to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of CHP. The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits. CHP can be an excellent solution for controlling energy costs while improving the reliability of power supply for your resort hotel or casino. CHP is the production of both power and heat from a single fuel source. By using the waste heat from on-site electricity production for heating or cooling, CHP increases fuel efficiency and decreases energy costs. For hotel and casino resorts with more than 500 rooms, CHP system sizes typically range from 1 megawatt (MW) to 10 MW, depending on the size and energy requirements of the facility.
The following websites provide general information about the CHP program and specific information on how the CHP programs can partner with casinos.
Saving Energy Through Smarter Electronics Purchases: For purchasing electronics, such as computers, EPA created EPEAT, which stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, to help institutional purchasers select and compare computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT is an easy-to-use, on-line tool.
Energy Star Resources for Buildings - Please visit the following sites for resources available for buildings:
- Energy Star Tools & Resources Library
- Quick List of Energy Star Resources for Buildings (PDF) (2 pp, 2.1MB, About PDF)
The Department of Energy
- Department of Energy, Improving the Energy Efficiency of Commercial Buildings
- Department of Energy, Cool Roofs
- Department of Energy, Appliance and Commercial Equipment Standards
- Department of Energy, Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative (PDF) (2 pp, 283K, About PDF)