A few weeks ago my wife and I joined three other couples in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and stayed at Las Casitas Village at El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria resort. It was in a beautiful setting up high on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic. The view from our room can be seen at the bottom of the post. Being smack in the middle of the caribbean, you know it stays nice and warm all year round. Which is why I was stunned when I noticed the old thermostat in our room that didn't even work!
With a name like Waldorf Astoria, you assume that everything in the room will be top of the line. You can't expect a high end resort to be completely concerned with energy conservation (even though the main lobby area had lighting occupancy sensors in the bathrooms), but you would at least expect them to be concerned with guest comfort. Because they don't even have a simple programmable thermostat, much less a new internet programmable wi-fi thermostat, they can't adjust the room temperature when guests are not checked into the rooms.
But the kicker is that the thermostat didn't even work! I would set it at 90 degrees, just to see if it would shut off, but if you had the system on it would just run full blast until you turned it off. How ignorant can a hotel be?
Air conditioning in hot climates is the biggest home energy consumer there is. By not having a programmable thermostat, much less a thermostat that even works, the ability to control the largest energy consumer is effectively lost. A high end resort like the Waldorf should invest in new programmable thermostats first for guest comfort (so they don't wake up freezing in the middle of the night, and then wake up hot because they had to turn off the thermostat because they were freezing) and second for energy savings.
The bottom line: Get rid of old thermostat, install programmable thermostats, and use them! And Waldorf, if you'd like to invite me back to help consult on an energy conservation plan, I'd be willing :)