First Premier Inn powered entirely by renewables opens

Hospitality group Whitbread has announced the opening of the first Premier Inn in Swindon which is powered entirely by renewable energy.

Information from the hotel’s operation will inform an emissions-reducing strategy for Premier Inn’s hotel estate across the UK and Ireland, and contribute to Whitbread’s target to remove mains gas connections across its estate by 2040, wherever possible.

The hotel’s features include an air-to-water heat pump, low energy LED lighting, solar panels, a building envelope to BREEAM ‘excellent’, minimising heat exchange through the use of natural sunlight, and mechanical ventilation with passive heat recovery.

Richard Aldread, head of construction in the UK regions and Ireland for Whitbread, said: “Swindon’s 100% renewably powered Premier Inn shows that sustainability and affordability can be two sides of the same coin and is part of a string of investments in innovative, sustainable properties at Whitbread.

“We have ambitious plans to expand the number of Premier Inn bedrooms towards our long-term potential of 125,000 rooms in the UK and Ireland, up from 83,500 currently, and this should not happen at the expense of net zero commitments.

“Premier Inn Swindon Town Centre is our first all-electric hotel without connection to a mains gas supply and is the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to designing and operating lower-carbon hotels – which has helped us reduce direct operational emissions by over 50% since 2016. It represents a significant milestone as we endeavour to bring our operational emissions to zero by 2040.”

Jim Robbins, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “One of our roles as a Council is to attract investment into Swindon town centre, which we can do by leveraging the Council-owned buildings and land and investing in projects that help to attract businesses to invest here.

“Its all-electric design shows what can be achieved even in tight town centre locations and I hope the new hotel encourages other investors and developers in Swindon to follow suit and invest in low carbon design elsewhere in the town centre.”

Image courtesy of Premier Inn

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