Premier Inn has started construction on what it is referring to as its first ‘all-electric’ hotel.

The Swindon Town Centre property has been designed without a natural gas connection, and will instead be  fully heated and powered by grid energy generated from renewable sources and by on-site photovoltaic (PV) cells.

The 195-room hotel will also feature air-source heat pumps and new water-heating technology from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The property is being constructed on a vacant brownfield site in the town’s centre, and will offer a Thyme bar and restaurant, as well as 38 of the group’s enhanced Premier Plus rooms.

Premier Inn said that the removal of natural gas from its estate was key to its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

“This is a considerable challenge as we rely on natural gas to heat water in our network of hotels and power many of our restaurant kitchens across the country,” said Alex Flach, Premier Inn’s UK development director.

“The new all-electric Premier Inn is designed to give us everything we need to run an operationally successful hotel.  A combination of a thermally efficient building and on-site energy recovering and generating systems has given us the confidence to remove fossil fuels from the new Premier Inn.

“It is a bold and necessary proof of concept which has the potential to inform the specification of our new-build hotels.  With more than 82,000 rooms currently available for our customers across the UK and Ireland, and the potential to grow our network to 110,000 rooms in time, the impact of what we will learn from the all-electric hotel is huge.”

Premier Inn’s owner Whitbread published its latest ESG report in May, in which it committed to accelerating the company’s net zero carbon target from 2050 to 2040.