In Thailand hotels, there is a great system in place for energy conservation. We have thus far stayed in 4 hotels here. Everyone of them uses a metal key, and on the keyring is a magnetic card. You have to insert the magnetic card into a slot on the wall just inside the door for any electricity to make it into the room.
Once you pull the card out, electricity stays on for about three minutes, and then everything goes off – every light, the air conditioner, all sockets, everything.
What a great way to save energy use. The only inconvenience I’ve seen so far is that electronic devices couldn’t charge unless you are in the room. When it’s really hot out, it does take the room about 5 minutes to start to feel cool as well. I’m more than okay dealing with this.
Could you imagine if a system like this were in place in every hotel in the US? That must have the potential to save many tons of coal burning every year.