Saving resources

I have been hosting since last 6 months so far with relatively good experience with guests. I am noticing some guests are least bothered about saving energy and resources. For example - guests switch on all lights in the room when they leave for work ( I do not enter their room when room is booked), also noticed some guests take shower fro 30-45 min (is that normal??? or am I a quick shower person!)

Is it ok to tell them? and if so how do I place it? any suggestion?

Take charge here. A 45 minute shower is extremely disrespectful and wasteful of resources. it should be no more than 10-15 max!! I would definitely remind them not to do that and if you have to, install signs. Even hotels have signs reminding guests not to waste water (hope you are not in Cape Town!) you could add it to your house rules so that you have an expectation to refer to. One of our former hosts here, who owned an island, installed a five minute timer on the hot water tank, and voila, people leaped out! :rofl::rofl: extreme but you do what you have to do.

I’m on a rain tank here in Hawaii. When guests arrive I show them the tank and remind them we are on a finite water system completely dependant on what nature gives us and that we need to be mindful of water use. I have not had any issues with crazy showers in years and years!

As for the lights, that’s a bit trickier. If you switch to LED bulbs the pain won’t be as severe.


I can’t hear my guests showering in their room but I can tell from the water bill and how long the hot water heater is on that some people take long showers. They also leave lights on but I’m also one of those who doesn’t go in the room until they’ve checked out.

I suggest you put it in your house rules and also verbally ask them to conserve. But ultimately focus on what you can control. Perhaps smart lights that you can turn off without going in the room. Put a water saving shower head in the shower. Get a wifi thermostat like Nest to control the heat and cooling.

Thanks…I think I will tell them and remind my house rules.

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Fwiw, I’ve accepted the lights being left on but i cannot cope with guests who leave the AC on, so in my house rules and also in my “how much interaction with the guest” section i say that once I’ve shown them to their room i won’t enter it - except to turn off the AC if they leave it on.

Privacy is important, but so is conserving cold air.


I have essentially the same thing. My rules are “if you are not in your room, we may enter your room to turn off fans, lights, air conditioners, etc., in order to conserve energy.”

No one has complained about it yet.


I also say that.
I reserve the right to unhappily enter the room to turn off water, fans, lights or other resources that you may have left running. So it’s better if you turn off everything before leaving for the day. Thank you.


I think I’m going to install some wifi connected receptacles in the guest room so I can turn off the window AC or portable heater with my phone when they aren’t in the room. They are about $40 each and I can switch them out myself. For those of you who aren’t so handy you can also buy smart adapters that you plug into any receptacle.


This is what I’ve done. It also gives me a small piece of mind, not having to worry if they’ve left the heater/AC on. I can just check my phone. Yay!

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When I had the room remodeled I thought it wasn’t worth the extra $38 for a smart receptacle. I have mostly one nighters and not everyone even leaves the room much less leaves the room with the AC running. But then there is the emotional toll from me fretting about it. I hadn’t factored that in.


What does that look like? Do you plug it into the outlet, or change the outlet itself?

I am going to follow what you did
thanks a lot for the tips.

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They have both. I’d like to switch out the outlet itself but they have ones you plug into the outlet. They also make wifi extension cords. Here’s one example


I second what Dusty said. My only addition would be to keep an eye on the amps/wattage for the plug-in variety. I used them initially, then switched out the outlet when my partner (who’s an electrician) pointed out their amp loads are limited and if I wanted to use it for an AC (or, at least the AC I have) I’d need more.


Interesting concept. One more thing I haven’t considered.

But what happens when the guest comes back in the room, and wants to turn on stuff? What happens then?

I’m home much of the time but if I’m not I could control it with the app. I also have a ring doorbell I can set alert me with the motion detector. If I have a rule that says “turn it off when you leave” and they don’t I don’t have a problem with turning it off for them. What I don’t want to do is go in their room while their things are in there. So if I missed their return and they contacted me about it I wouldn’t be abashed to say to tell them I turned it off. If I was going to be gone as well I might not risk them coming back and not being able to turn it back on but I’m home a lot. I also need to investigate if I have a breaker switch that turns off just the AC outlet. I think I do but haven’t checked.

I’m unclear how this “smart receptacle” works. Is this something you can toggle on and off remotely, with a smartphone or otherwise?

Yes they have ones that have their own apps or ones that sync with apps like Amazon Echo.

So, to be clear, once it’s “off”, it’s “off”, and has to be “turned on” again remotely? If so, I can see that causing problems if guests come back and I haven’t “turned it on” again.

Yep. So choose your problem. The guest disrespects your rules and runs up your utility bill or the guest returns to an AC that is off. I’d just put in your guest guide/rules etc that the AC needs to be turned off when they leave the room for the day. You will, at your discretion use your app to turn it off without entering their room. When they return they can message you and you will turn the power back on. Maybe that will encourage them to follow the rule so they can skip the step of messaging you to get it back on. I can understand if you aren’t comfortable with that level of engagement. Maybe it can be put on a timer?

I’m really not an expert on this as I don’t have a smart home myself. I’m getting more devices and apps. I now have security cameras, a Ring doorbell camera installed. I can monitor how many devices the guest has hooked up to my network. I have an Amazon Echo Dot and Fire stick for TV that aren’t installed yet and I may be buying a Roku for the guest room instead of using the Fire stick. I’m quite the tech novice but I’m happy to share anything I learn as I stumble forward.