Energy savings potentially worth millions every year to the rail industry are highlighted in new guidance published today by the RSSB.
The guidance aims to help companies cut their non-traction energy bills by “retrofitting” solutions to existing infrastructure and ways of working, but is equally applicable to planning for new projects. In addition to saving resources to reinvest, the project highlights opportunities for the industry to reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability.
Although energy use for traction activities – that is the running of trains – accounts for the lion’s share of industry requirements, nearly 20% is used for non-traction purposes including lighting stations, heating and cooling buildings, and IT.
Among the successes highlighted in the guidance is how Network Rail made estimated annual savings of almost £1m for a one-off outlay of £389,000 to install an upgraded energy monitoring and invoicing system across the organisation.
The guidance focuses on potential savings from making organisations “leaner” (energy conservation), “keener” (savings from more efficient production and consumption of energy), and “greener” (incorporating renewable energy sources).
The advice walks organisations through the entire process from the planning stage of monitoring and targeting opportunities to delivering more energy efficient solutions. Detailed sections outline how behaviour change, the remodelling of infrastructure, the adoption of energy-efficient technology and renewables and other innovations can cut energy usage, and explains what technology is relevant to each situation and the typical payback.
Michelle Papayannakos, RSSB Senior Sustainable Development Specialist, said: We hope the industry appreciates the significant opportunities both to generate savings and to lessen their impact on the environment. The potential savings are substantial yet many of the solutions suggested are inexpensive to implement and pay for themselves quickly.