Innovation VGF

Eco
mode

Sustainable use of energy

All light rail trains and trams in Frankfurt have been running on green electricity since January 1st, 2024. VGF is thus making a contribution to climate protection. In order to further protect the climate, it is also important to VGF to use as little energy as possible.

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Less energy consumption for the carbon footprint

“VGF Eco Mode” is a company-wide energy efficiency program that VGF launched in September 2022.

Between October 2022 and March 2023, VGF was able to save around 3.4 million kWh of energy. To do so, room temperatures in properties were reduced, hot water was switched off, exterior lighting on buildings was switched off and the “Clever driving, simply save” campaign was launched to encourage drivers to drive as energy-efficiently as possible.

 

Since January 2023, the VGF has been installing LED lamps for the interior lighting of the R-, S-, U4- and U5-carriages. Once all fluorescent lamps have been replaced in 2028, this will save around 466,000 kWh per year. The exterior lighting of the S-cars will also be converted to LEDs by the end of 2026. This will enable the VGF to save up to an additional 60,000 kWh per year. The new T-carriage is of course already equipped with LEDs.

The optimised control of the heat pumps for the office temperatures is expected to reduce electricity consumption by around 100,000 kWh per year from late summer 2023. Since this autumn, VGF has been using a new parking concept in which the pre-heating temperature of the trains is lowered to 8 °C at night. This is expected to save 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The procurement of the first series systems for “smart points heating” is also currently underway. Their use reduced energy consumption by 70% in test operation.

Further information can be found in VGF’s Sustainability Report 2022.

Green electricity for light rail trains and trams

Despite the savings, the VGF consumes a lot of energy: the railroads, as well as the garages, operating and administrative buildings, need about as much electricity as a small town every year. This has been coming from sustainable sources since 2024.

VGF obtains part of its electricity requirements directly from one of the largest open-space solar parks in Germany. The park in Boitzenburger Land in Brandenburg was put into operation in September 2023. It produces around 20,000 MWh for VGF every year – that corresponds to around 13 percent of its electricity requirements. It will supply VGF with high-quality green electricity at fixed prices for the next ten years via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between VGF and Mainova.

VGF obtains the remaining electricity as green electricity from Mainova. This is generated 100 percent from renewable energies and is certified by TÜV SÜD.