Equipment is an essential part of all the major spa systems. The equipment your spa uses drives efficiency and savings while simultaneously projecting the eco-conscious brand and image you intend. Often, the most sustainable and efficient equipment may seem more expensive, but an early investment in good equipment often has a shorter ROI than expected, and quality products both work better and last longer. Consider this when purchasing.
Upfront costs can hinder the decision to invest in items that have an initial cost. Water aerators and light bulbs are minor costs and these are what is called “low hanging fruit”—the easy inexpensive changes that can be made. These are typically the first of the prioritized actions. On the other hand, it is harder to justify the cost of solar photovoltaic panels because it may take up to 20 years to recapture the upfront costs. Solar thermal hot water systems, however, are a good investment and have a faster payback of about 3–5 years. After that, the hot water cost is minimal for years to come.
To consider only the initial cost of a product, or an entire building for that matter, is a short-sighted approach to acquisition. Many additional factors impact the value beyond the initial cost: efficiency, durability, impact on health, and serviceability. For example, when evaluating the cost of a new HVAC system, it is important to know its efficiency rating so that energy costs can be included in the decision-making process. It is also important to evaluate the seasonal needs of the facility to determine the correct capacity of the system.
The universe of equipment can be approached from many different angles. Regardless of your spa’s needs or budget, you can always seek to improve your equipment use. From renewable energy systems to cleaning supplies, equipment is a major business consideration, and each spa should do its homework. Equipment purchases can also be leveraged to promote suppliers that adopt green products and policies. Establishing organizational purchasing preferences and standards is an additional way your organization can create change.