Lakehouse Hotel & Resort Case Study

“In the hospitality business, you can’t ask your guests to forgo their comfort and personal choices for using less power and water, but you can choose sustainable systems that lower utility expenses. You have to be savvy enough to make the right choices and willing to make capital expenditures to save money monthly.”

- Brett Miller, owner of Lakehouse Hotel & Resort

Solar Thermal by the Numbers

San Marcos Hotel Invests in Solar Water Heating — Newly renovated Lakehouse Hotel & Resort using solar and saving money

In an industry where water heating makes up almost a third of total energy use, hotel managers know that every bath, shower, kitchen and laundry counts toward their ever-increasing utility bill. “For a hotel, solar makes so much sense given the amount of hot water needed,” says Lakehouse Hotel & Resort owner Brett Miller.

Initial estimates for the solar water heating system seemed pricey until rebates from the California Solar Initiative – Thermal Program cut costs almost in half and the project was eligible for a 30 percent federal investment tax credit for renewable energy and accelerated depreciation allowances.

Over the lifetime of the system, the natural gas savings is equivalent to carbon sequestered by 424 acres of forest over one year or GHG emissions reductions equivalent to removing 109 cars from the road.

Miller states, “Installing solar water heating is going to save us a lot of money over the long run, well beyond the payback – and we can feel better about reduced environmental impacts.”

Property Profile

System Owner: Brett Miller, CEO of Eat.Drink.Sleep.

Location: San Marcos, CA

Site and System:

  • Lakeside hotel with 142 guest rooms, restaurant and two pools
  • 3 systems, 32 solar thermal collectors, feeding 2,050 gallons to storage tanks
  • Year installed: 2014
  • Contractor: Simon Reeves, Reeves Mechanical of Temecula, California

Project Savings:
System cost: $118,000
CSI-Thermal rebate: ($14.53/therm) $55,779
30% federal tax credit: $18,736
Simple payback: 6 years
Total out of pocket: $43,600
Annual energy savings: 3,900 therms (390 million Btu) of natural gas