In addition to generating energy in a sustainable manner, we also aim to reduce our energy consumption. Driving, heating/cooling and lighting trains accounts for approximately 90% of NS's electricity use. The rest of the electricity is used in offices and stations. We work to reduce the energy consumption in both of these categories.
The best way to use energy more efficiently is to carry more passengers at times when there is space on the trains. NS stimulates off-peak travel by offering more affordable season tickets.
Using less energy in trains
Moderne trains, such as our sprinters and new double-deckers, use less energy than their predecessors. We now pay much more attention to energy efficiency when buying new trains or refitting our current fleet. NS has modified its trains to have brake energy fed back into the overhead lines. Nearby trains can then reuse this energy. NS employees Jos & Rob thought up a unique system of testing old train engines in an energy-efficient manner.
Our modernised double-decker trains are equipped with a more efficient climate control system and an intelligent lighting system that automatically adjusts light intensity based on the light conditions in the train. We also rely heavily on the skills of our employees, as the train driver can save considerable quantities of energy by leaving on time, accelerating rapidly and having the train roll out. There are even energy-efficiency gains to be had once a train has come to a standstill, and we now switch off our trains to avoid leaving them on ' standby' for too long.
Outside peak hours, many of our trains are empty. Along with his brainiac team, NS employee Jasper makes sure the train schedule is as efficient as it can be.
Energy-efficient and climate-adaptive buildings
To help develop new stations, NS has worked with Bureau Spoorbouwmeester and ProRail to draw up a list of requirements that all new stations must meet. In addition to sustainability requirements, this list also sets the necessary climate adaptation requirements that will ensure that new stations will still be up to scratch even if our climate changes.
When we replace, redecorate or redesign our stations and offices, we opt for sustainable solutions by choosing more energy-efficient materials and equipment. We install smart meters and cooler doors in station shops, for instance, to encourage shop staff to save energy. And we do the same in our offices by closing off several floors of our offices during holidays.
Escalators in stations are major energy guzzlers. NS employees Christel demonstrates how to eliminate so-called 'ghost escalators.