Exciting news – we’ve started building our first ‘all-electric’ Premier Inn hotel in Swindon town centre! Our five-storey 195-bedroom hotel is the first Premier Inn to be designed without a connection to a natural gas supply. Instead, this hotel will be heated and powered fully by grid energy generated from renewable sources and by on-site photovoltaic (PV) cells.
Lightbulb moment! We’re building our first all-electric Premier Inn hotel
Additionally, a suite of energy and heat recovery systems – including air-source heat pumps and a new water-heating technology from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries [Q-ton] – will also be included in our thermally efficient hotel building!
That’s a lot of technical terminology but essentially, the development is an exciting proof of concept which has the potential to influence the specification of all future new Premier Inn hotels, and it’s also part of our efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.
Alex Flach, UK Development Director at Whitbread, said:
“If we are to achieve our target of becoming a net zero business by 2040, we need to find a replacement for natural gas across our estate.
This is a considerable challenge as we rely on natural gas to heat water in our network of hotels and power many of our restaurant kitchens across the country."
“The new all-electric Premier Inn is designed to give us everything we need to run an operationally successful hotel. A combination of a thermally efficient building and on-site energy recovering and generating systems has given us the confidence to remove fossil fuels from the new Premier Inn."
“It’s a bold and necessary proof of concept which has the potential to inform the specification of our newbuild hotels. With more than 82,000 rooms currently available for our customers across the UK and Ireland, and the potential to grow our network to 110,000 rooms in time, the impact of what we will learn from the all-electric hotel is huge.”
We opened our first ‘green’ Premier Inn hotel in Tamworth, Staffordshire back in 2008, which used up to 80% less energy than a standard Premier Inn. Since then, we’ve designed and operated several industry-leading water and energy efficient hotels across the UK including ones in Burgess Hill, Sussex, Covent Garden, Tolworth and Kingston-upon-Thames. We also received planning permission for a net zero operational hotel at Snow Hill in London in 2021.
All newbuild Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotels are currently built to a minimum BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard, which is a system used for scoring sustainability in buildings. Across our estate, all Whitbread-owned hotels in the UK have been powered by 100% renewable sources since April 2017 – and we’re pretty proud of that!
We’re building our new, all-electric hotel on a vacant brownfield site in Swindon town centre. It will feature our latest bedroom designs – including 38 of our enhanced Premier Plus rooms – as well as a Thyme bar and restaurant on the ground floor. Plus, around 45 new full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created at our hotel when it opens!
All of us at Whitbread are committed to being a positive force in the communities in which we operate. Our Force for Good sustainability programme focuses on enabling people to live and work well, designed around three core pillars of opportunity, community and responsibility.
Since publishing this news story our net zero targets have been validated by SBTi. We are committed to decarbonising our own operations by 2040 and to be net zero by 2050, for our own operations and within our value chain.