Stagecoach invests in improved energy management system across the UK

Posted: 28 November 2011 | Stagecoach | No comments yet

Green energy management system upgrade is expected to cut consumption at its UK bus depots by a further 20%…

Transport group Stagecoach is investing in a new upgrade to its green energy management system which is expected to cut consumption at its UK bus depots by a further 20%, reduce carbon emissions and also save millions of pounds.

The Perth-based transport operator already has in place an Energy Management System provided by Vickers Electronics Ltd to control heating and lighting at more than 100 depots across the UK. In 2010, the existing systems reduced gas usage by 35% – a saving of 7,000 tonnes of CO2 – and cut the UK Bus Division’s electricity use by 11.5%.

Stagecoach has now started upgrading the existing technology with an even more modern and efficient system, also provided by Vickers, which is expected to cut energy use by a further 21.5%, saving an additional 2800 tonnes of CO2 each year*.

The upgraded energy management system is being rolled out to all of Stagecoach’s UK Bus depots over the next year. By 2013, it is estimated – based on previous results – that the system will have saved around 58,000 tonnes of CO2, the same amount of energy required to power around 12,000 homes for a year**.

Stagecoach has invested a total of around £2.2million in the initial installation of the system, and the most recent upgrade. However, the Group expects to have saved more than £7.8million in energy bills in the six years up to 2013.

Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director Les Warneford said: “We are working very hard to become an even greener business. The efforts of our staff, along with the Vickers Energy Management System, have delivered very good results for us through a marked reduction in energy consumption.

“We are pleased to be upgrading the system to help further reduce our Carbon footprint at all of our depots across the UK and we will also continue to take steps to attract even more people on to our greener, smarter bus services.”

The Vickers technology allows Stagecoach improved monitoring and control of its gas heating system at depots through the introduction of high-tech control panels which provide greater reliability and reduce avoidable waste.

The system has also been linked to electrical circuits at some depots, resulting in additional reductions in electrical consumption. In addition, increased door sensors and improved heating controls are helping Stagecoach further reduce energy usage at its bus operations.

David Hilton from Vickers added; “Vickers Electronics are very proud of our long partnership with Stagecoach and the energy savings delivered. It is always gratifying to work with like-minded people who have a commitment to energy reduction for the benefit of the environment, and we are pleased that this can go hand in hand with commercial benefits too – which helps both our customers, and our customers’ customers.”

Stagecoach has a comprehensive sustainability strategy and is investing £11million in a range of measures to meet its environmental targets. The Group is targeting an overall reduction of 8% in buildings CO2 emissions and a cut of 3% in annual fleet transport CO2e emissions by 2014.

Last year, Stagecoach Group was awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change by measuring and reducing its carbon emissions. Stagecoach is the first Scottish-based transport group to have achieved the stretching carbon reduction benchmark. It covers all of the Group’s bus and rail operations in the UK.

The Group’s UK Bus division has launched a number of initiatives in the past 12 months alone to improve the environmental performance of its 8,100-vehicle bus fleet and associated depots, including:

  • testing the a new high-tech bus in Liverpool powered by compressed natural gas (CNG)
  • mixing its own biofuel on site using a new bio-blender installed at its Kilmarnock depot. The initiative, the first by a UK bus company, allows around 100 buses in the west of Scotland to operate on up to 40% biofuel.
  • launching a fleet of 11 buses in Lincoln that operate on biomethane, derived from household rubbish and animal waste. It could reduce carbon emissions by up to 40% as well as cutting fuel consumption.
  • placing orders for 142 hybrid electric buses, which deliver a 30% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard vehicles.
  • a multi-million-pound investment in a hi-tech eco-driving system, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption at its bus division by 4%. The scheme also offers employees the chance to earn “green points” that are converted into financial benefits from a potential £900,000 annual bonus pot.
  • the launch of a £500,000 project to fit new, greener engines in some buses to prolong the life of the vehicles.
  • trialling a new ‘intelligent’ lighting system – which uses movement sensors to determine the amount of light required – at six bus depots across the UK.

Last month, Stagecoach – along with Alexander Dennis Ltd – won the Green Award at the 2011 Route One Operator Excellence Awards for the introduction of hybrid-electric vehicles. The Group also won the Travel and Transport Award at the 2010 Green Business Awards and, in July this year, Stagecoach was Highly Commended as Company of the Year at the inaugural BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.

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* Based on results at Stagecoach depots where the upgrade has already been completed.

** powering a home for a year produces around 5 tonnes of CO2

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