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New Law Has Maryland Hotels Going Green

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Maryland's green initiative takes another step forward. A new law signed by the governor this week requires hotels to install energy-saving equipment that automatically turns out the lights.

Pat Warren reports it's expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Been out of the country lately? Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler stayed in a hotel in Taiwan and couldn't figure out the lights.

"I actually bumped my head against the door jamb and I went out in the hallway and said, `Does anyone know how the lights work?' and the guy said, `You moron, of course. Take the card key and put it in the little box next to the door and that will trigger all the lights,'" Gansler said.

And a light went on that led to a change in Maryland.

"And so I came back here and I said, `Why don't we have that here?'" Gansler said.

The lights go off when the room is not in use, saving untold thousands of dollars in electricity. Gansler submitted the bill that passed this year requiring future hotel construction in the state to include those kinds of energy-saving devices.

The Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore is way ahead of the game.

In addition to lights, the Four Seasons has temperature controls when rooms are not in use.

"We've got motion sensors in the room on our thermostats so the room actually knows there's a person in it so the air conditioning knows to operate," said Andy Helmore, Four Seasons Hotel.

Studies show hotels using the devices have an average savings of 30 percent a year.

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