The Blackstone Group L.P. ("Blackstone") launched its sustainability initiatives in 2008 and has since remained focused on implementing energy and/or water cost savings programs in our portfolio companies and real estate holdings. Specifically with our hospitality holdings, we saw an opportunity to leverage our sustainability "best practices" and implement pilot utility cost savings programs in several hotel properties in the United States. After these initial pilot programs, Blackstone expanded the energy and/or water programs at scale across 200 hotel properties, combined, throughout the United States.
Blackstone identified utility cost savings interventions that cut costs but also maintain or improve the guest experience. Blackstone identified opportunities to create energy savings primarily through installation of light-emitting diode ("LED") lights and PTAC controls. LEDs have a longer lifespan and higher efficiency than incandescent and compact florescent bulbs, which cuts costs and also improves aesthetics. A PTAC is a self-contained heating and air conditioning system for a single hotel guest room, and adding PTAC controls enables the units to operate more efficiently when rooms are unoccupied. Blackstone identified opportunities to create water savings primarily by upgrading showerheads and rebuilding toilets. Upgrading showerheads cut water use while delivering an exceptional guest experience, and cut energy costs since less energy is required to heat the water. Rebuilding (versus replacing) toilets enabled the toilets to perform as they were designed, which allowed for more efficient use of water. Blackstone also partnered with utilities to capture incentive money at scale where available.
As a result, these pilot utility cost savings programs have achieved 14-26% in energy savings and 18-25% in water savings annually, in the properties where the energy and water implementation, respectively, has been completed. The investment required for these projects will payback within two years. Moreover, properties have reported either positive guest feedback or consistent feedback, which means the guest experience has either improved or remained consistent while cutting costs.