Saving energy and less money spent on energy bills are not news on the transport operators’ agenda. Railway transport is the most energy-efficient means of transport, but it doesn’t escape the problem either. Several infrastructure managers from Northern Europe, Jernbaneverket (Norway), Banverket (Sweden), Banedanmark (Denmark) and from 2008, Infrabel (Belgium), have created a solution which helps saving energy and calculates the energy bill of every infrastructure manager.
The ERESS partnership (European Railway Energy Settlement System) set-up by the four companies establishes and run an efficient, reliable, flexible and accurate metering of the energy bill to the benefit of infrastructure managers and railway operators.
On June 16, the ERESS partnership organised in Brussels the Forum called “Energy Efficiency – Smart Metering and Billing”. The main topics debated during the Forum included the latest solutions provided by ERESS, the implementation and verification of energy metering solutions, the phase and development of European standardisation, presentation of the best practices in energy efficiency, as well as the implementation of the train operation advisory system. The ERESS Partnership is committed to the development, implementation and supply of the energy settlement system EREX.
EREX provides an efficient, reliable, accurate and flexible energy settlement system. This enables infrastructure managers to fulfil requirements for a neutral and non-discriminatory operation, and railway undertakings to understand their use of energy and thereby save energy and costs. The system is comprised of the following elements, advanced energy meters mounted on board trains, an energy measurement system that collects and validates the metered data and a settlement system that performs the settlement, cost distribution, data exchange and billing. Presently, EREX is unique on the European market, being the only system that can provide such advanced services to railways. The system is in compliance with the UIC leaflet 930 – “Exchange of data for cross-border railway energy settlement”.
“Due to the energy metering and settlement system, the infrastructure managers can tell exactly how much energy an operator consumed, and the latter will pay only for the exact amount of energy it consumed. Compared to the traditional solution according to which railway operators were charged based on an estimate energy consumption, now they have the opportunity to pay for their real energy consumption. By reducing energy consumption, they will be able to obtain a constant performance growth and smaller costs. This is even more important as the energy price is increasing”, declared Dyre Martin Guldbrandsen, Director of the ERESS Partnership in an interview published by Railway Pro in December 2010.
The EREX solution is an instrument which helps infrastructure managers to ensure a transparent and objective treatment to all railway companies. Secondly, this solution overcomes the barriers of cross-border traffic to permit operators to enjoy the benefits of competition.