Encouraging energy transition in the hotel sector

The neZEH project

The Almost Zero Energy (NEZEH) Hotels project is co-financed by the European Commission within the Intelligent Energy Program for Europe. Its objective is to accelerate the rate of renovation of hotels to Near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) by providing technical advice to committed hoteliers and highlighting nZEB flagship projects in the European hospitality industry. Sixteen pilot hotels in seven European countries (Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden) are now undergoing renovation plans to become Almost Zero Energy hotels and are examples of good practice in Europe.

Context elements

Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and are responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and are therefore an important lever for energy savings. The large-scale renovation of existing buildings towards zero energy is one of the priorities of the policies of the European Union and its members.

On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy consumption. The tourism sector, as a service provider, is a major consumer of energy and more than 20% of its carbon emissions come from accommodation. There is a very wide potential for the hotel sector to reduce energy consumption.

To take advantage of these opportunities to reduce consumption, training aims to:

  • Promote the concept of near zero energy buildings in the participating countries by highlighting the challenges but also the opportunities
  • Provide a critical level of understanding of energy issues and enable stakeholders to act

The European initiative neZEH (NEarly Zero Energy Hotels) aims to accelerate the renovation rates of existing hotels to near zero energy levels by:

  • Providing technical advice to hoteliers
  • Demonstrating the feasibility and sustainability of investments aimed at achieving the “near zero energy”
  • Organizing training and capacity building activities.

NeZEH is a response to the European Directive on the energy performance of buildings (2010/31 / EU, EPBD recast), directly contributing to the achievement of the 2020 and 2050 objectives of the European Union and supporting Member States in their ‘Increase the number of buildings almost zero energy.

Main results

NeZEH’s activities included:

  • 16 pilot projects in 7 countries (Croatia, Greece, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden), highlighting concrete examples and encouraging other hotels to follow them
  • Practical training, information materials and capacity building activities to support the implementation and multiplication of neZEH projects
  • A European network neZEH to facilitate exchanges between suppliers (building professionals) and demand (hotel owners)
  • A convenient on-line tool for hotel owners to assess the state of their energy consumption and identify appropriate solutions to improve their energy efficiency
  • Marketing tips and promotional tools to support neZEH pioneers in their communication and promotion of their image through their environmental performance
  • More than 15,000 informed hotel owners; Methodologies and results available for any hotel in order to multiply the impacts


NeZEH offers competitive advantages for small and medium-sized hotels, which account for 90% of the hotel market, and benefits to the entire hotel industry thanks to:

  • Energy savings and reduced operational costs
  • Unique positioning in a highly competitive market
  • Improved image and service for customers
  • Access to a new “sustainable” segment of the market, both for individuals and businesses
  • Improving comfort as added value for customers
  • Achieving the objectives of corporate social responsibility with environmental, social and economic sustainability

 The neZEH project will promote the nZEB (near zero energy buildings) concept at the regional, national and European levels and support the implementation of these policies. In this sense, it will contribute to:

  • Sensitize national authorities to support nZEB renovation projects for small and medium-sized hotels
  • 80 – 190 million €  invested in sustainable energy by 2020
  • Creating Green Jobs
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions up to 100,000 tCO2e / year by 2020

Our pilot hotels

BEST WESTERN Ajaccio Amirauté – Ajaccio, France

“We embarked on the project neZEH in the continuity of our commitment which really began in 2013, when our hotel received the European Ecolabel. Today, we want to push this commitment further. The NEZEH project has enabled us to obtain an energy audit, which is the starting point for everything that follows, identifying the problems, analyzing them and finding the right solutions. Like the Ecolabel, this project is also an opportunity to federate a team around a common goal, and to learn how to work differently. Pursuing our environmental goal is also, for some customers, an additional motivation to choose our hotel. “

Bernard Faraud, Co-Founder

Hôtel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon – La Palud Sur Verdon, France

“Thanks to the location of our hotel, in the heart of the beautiful Verdon nature park, we have always been committed to sustainable development. Our communication on this commitment is more recent. But we are constantly striving to improve ourselves, in order to go beyond what we have already put in place. It is for this reason that when ENERGIES 2050 contacted us about the neZEH project, we saw it as a real challenge that we are proud to share with you. “

Hélène BOGLIORO, Owner

Discover the neZEH project in a few clicks …

Useful Documents

Training modules

Project partners

Project Coordinator
Technical University of Crete
Laboratory of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems

World Tourism Organization
United Nations

Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism

Federation of European Heating and Air Conditioning Associations

Braşov Agency for the Management of Energy and the Protection of the Environment

Creara Consultores S.L.


Institute of Energy Hrvoje Požar

Higher Institute of Territorial Systems for Innovation

Sustainable Innovation

To know more


NeZEH is supported by the Intelligent Energy Program for Europe. The contents of this web site are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Union. Neither EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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