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Pulling out the stops to save energy

Using energy economically and responsibly is a major topic within the BLT. For its part, the company is looking to a variety of highly promising innovations to help it meet challenging targets.


Central to Our Corporate Policy

In this day and age, saving energy is at the top of the agenda. Hardly surprising, since economy in this area benefits the environment just as much as the company’s financial performance. This is definitely the case with the BLT, where for years energy efficiency has been a central element of our corporate policy. The goal is to squeeze as much useful work out of the energy we use, while continuing to reduce overall consumption levels. To achieve this, the BLT continues to harness innovative solutions – some small, some large – steadily increasing energy efficiency all round. Here are three examples:


1. The Tango Tram

Our Tangos use 35% less power than the equivalent Schindler double traction unit (approximately 140 000 kWh per year). Also, thanks to our upgraded overhead power line network, energy created when the tram’s brakes are applied can be saved as electricity and fed back into the grid – so-called regenerative energy. With an entire fleet of 38 Tangos, this is equivalent to a reduction of 5 million kWh, or the amount of electricity consumed by 1 000 households. Put another way, enough to power an entire  community of some 4 000 residents (like Bubendorf for instance)!


2. A point about heating

Did you know that in order to work properly year round, switchpoints along the tram tracks need to be kept ice-free? Thanks to ‘smart’ controls, our points are only heated when needed, and then by only as much as necessary. Automatic heating systems installed in 91 sets of points yield a potential annual savings of approximately 128 000 kWh – a figure equivalent to the annual electricity needs of 28 households.


3. Electricity at the speed of light

Not many people know that the BLT also generates electricity. In partnership with the local electric company, EBM, we have installed one of the largest photo-voltaic systems in the region – right on top of our depot roofs in Oberwil. The system produces about 1.2 million kWh of electricity every year. Moreover, since 2012, the BLT only makes use of electricity certified as having been generated by Swiss hydroelectric power plants – in other words, renewable energy.

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