The majority of electric train operating companies are charged by Network Rail for their estimated use of electricity on the basis of modelled consumption rates. At the end of the year when the estimated and actual numbers are reconciled train operating companies either pay additional energy costs or in some instances money is returned back.
Train operator Southern has moved to metered electricity billing, by installing meters tracking energy consumption. This means its charges are no longer based on modelled consumption rates, but instead are based on actual metered usage.
This means now Southern can be more certain about the cost of its 322 strong fleet's energy consumption - with the obvious benefits for more accurate budgeting and cost control.
Southern has always led the way in reducing energy consumption and was the first operator - together with Network Rail - to introduce 'regenerative braking' on the DC (Direct Current) network.
Another benefit of the on-train meters is the ability Southern has to realise the benefit of monitoring efficient driving. Train drivers are encouraged to 'coast' on identified parts of the network. This entails permitting the train to use its own momentum where it's appropriate to save energy and reduce electricity - whilst running to time.
This energy efficient driving is part of Govia's continual work to reduce its carbon emissions and reducing cost.