Several hotels I've stayed in lately (in the Middle East if that matters) have a card slot just inside the door of the room, and it appears that the lights/AC in the room only work if you have one of your room cards placed in the slot, and will turn off about 15 minutes after you take it out. The hotel staff has referred to it as the "security card" but assumed I knew what that meant. What is the purpose of this slot? Is it just an energy-saving feature to make sure the electric shuts off when no one is in the room?
Stranger still is that the housekeeping staff insists I take the card with me when I leave (though I've got the standard 2 cards for my room so I have another one anyways). Also in one of the hotels the room lights (not the bathroom) would only work for about 15 minutes after inserting the card, so I'd have to continually re-seat it to see anything. Thank god I was only there for one night.
What is this key card slot and what is its purpose?
Conclusion: For the record, in the hotel I mentioned first it seems to only have controlled the lights. The new hotel that I'm in, it controls lights and plugs (unfortunately) and they specifically only gave me one keycard, though they had no problem giving me a second card to keep the plugs running while I'm gone. I always turn out the lights anyways, so it's not wasting power that I don't want to use to begin with.