In 2013, energy purchased to heat, cool, and light office buildings and rail facilities accounted for 5 percent of Norfolk Southern’s greenhouse gas emissions – our second-largest source of emissions. The company has strategies to reduce energy consumption, including ongoing programs to upgrade yards and shops with more energy-efficient lighting systems and to replace aging heating and cooling systems with high-efficiency units.
In 2008, the company launched a long-term program to install technologically advanced lighting and fixtures in 600 offices, shops, rail yards, and facilities at 300 locations. Since that effort began, we have installed more than 96,000 more-efficient bulbs and fixtures.
2013 Energy Savings Projects
Norfolk Southern’s energy services group continually looks for ways to reduce power consumption at company facilities, which generate more than 24,000 utility bills every month across 22 states. While tracking energy use at these far-flung locations is challenging, the payoff can be significant.
In 2013, the railroad invested $1.2 million to replace outdated lights at six shops, yards, and terminals. The projects have reduced energy consumption for lighting these facilities by an estimated 60 percent.
In late 2012, energy services initiated an energy audit program to analyze the railroad’s biggest spenders on electricity. To start, electricity submeters were installed at Norfolk’s Lamberts Point coal transload facility, which spends about $1 million annually on electricity, and at our Roanoke, Va., office building. The goal was to identify the areas of operations that consume the most electricity and look for opportunities for savings.
“Monitoring allows us to see in real time the changes we make by turning on and off equipment,” said Jordan Plikerd, superintendent of facilities. “The submetering data helped us identify certain pieces of equipment that were staying on when they were in the ‘off’ position.”
Correcting those discrepancies helped the Roanoke office building earn an ENERGY STAR rating in 2013.
In 2011, Norfolk Southern launched a program to replace heating and cooling systems that were 15 years old or older or that were mismatched to facilities. Work on that initiative continued in 2013, with more than $839,000 invested to replace 61 pieces of equipment with high-efficiency HVAC units. We estimate the replacements will reduce annual HVAC operating costs at these facilities by 43 percent.
Energy services also has introduced centralized online utility manager software that allows site managers across the system to track electricity and water usage at their facilities. The software helps managers determine what drives energy usage and pinpoint possibilities to reduce consumption, said Andy Paul, manager energy services.
“You can’t manage consumption,” Paul said, “if you have no idea what you’re consuming.”
2013 Energy-Efficiency Projects
HVAC equipment upgrades at 17 facilities
- 61 complete systems installed
- Total cost: $839,000
- Estimated annual savings: $155,000
- Estimated annual energy reduction: 1,520,348 kilowatt hours
- Estimated annual C02 equivalent savings: 870 metric tons
Lighting replacements at six facilities
- Project cost: $1.2 million
- Estimated annual energy savings: $564,000
- Return on investment: An average 2.68 years for all yards
- Estimated annual C02 equivalent savings: 3,160 metric tons
|Gallons of diesel fuel (MILLION)||397.3||440.1||476.6||459.3||479.3|
|Gallons of gasoline (MILLION)||11.4||11.7||10.2||9.2||9.2|
|Gallons of propane and heating oil (MILLION)||2.0||2.7||2.8||1.6||3.8|
|Kilowatt-hours of electricity (MILLION)||468.8||440.7||451.5||437.1||451.6|
|Cubic feet of natural gas (MILLION)||622.9||372.4||563.6||633.2||722.1|
|Revenue ton-miles per gallon diesel fuel||404||413||407||407||404|
|Diesel fuel per million dollars of revenue (GALLONS)||49860||46253||42200||41345||42628|
|Gasoline per million dollars of revenue (GALLONS)||1430||1235||915||834||819|
|Propane & heating oil per million dollars of revenue (GALLONS)||248||288||253||150||341|
|Electricity per million dollars of revenue (KWH)||58826||46319||40410||39596||40165|
|Natural gas per million dollars of revenue (CUBIC FT.)||78173||39141||50448||57352||64219|
|Fuel oil and non-locomotive diesel per million dollars of revenue (GALLONS)||2926||1330||916||785||902|
2013 Energy consumption by primary energy source
|Source||Consumption (Megajoules)|| |
total direct energy consumption from renewable energy sources
MJ Total direct energy consumption from nonrenewable sources
|Electricity||1,625,927,000||1,625,927,000 MJ total indirect energy consumption|
Total: 74,666,644,458 MJ
Total energy consumption from all sources
An ENERGY STAR in Roanoke
In 2013, Norfolk Southern’s 11-story office building in Roanoke earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification. The designation signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy-efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Commercial buildings that earn ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“This demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs,” said Andy Paul, manager energy services. “ENERGY STAR is a great tool to compare our building performance with our peers. This inspired us to do what we can to achieve the triple bottom line – planet, people, and profit. We are proud of this accomplishment and excited about similar work across our network.”
The Roanoke building was constructed in 1992. Norfolk Southern earned the ENERGY STAR rating by making energy-efficient upgrades and taking steps to better monitor and conserve energy use. Among other things, Norfolk Southern installed a new independent HVAC system for off-hour building use, upgraded exterior lights to energy-efficient LEDs, and replaced stairwell lights with on-demand LEDs. In addition, the company began using real-time metering to monitor electricity usage and reanalyzed the building automation system to ensure the building’s energy systems weren’t running when not needed.
By using these techniques, Norfolk Southern is saving more than $60,000 a year in energy costs at the building.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, Norfolk Southern is leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”