Energy efficiency

  • By 2020, the aim of VR Group is to improve the energy efficiency of train traffic and its properties.
  • Energy efficiency of train traffic will be improved by 20 per cent from the starting level in 2012.

85 per cent of VR Group's energy consumption is spent on rail and road transports and 15 per cent in other operations.

Accelerating energy efficiency with energy reviews

VR Group conducted its first energy review and the included target review as required by the Energy Efficiency Act. The target of the target review was the energy used by rail traffic, as it represents almost three quarters of the whole Group’s energy consumption.

The target review confirmed the previous decision’s justifications on the benefits of the energy project for rail traffic. Read more about the energy project here.

Trains, buses and coaches will be made more energy efficient

The proportion of electric traction, capacity utilisation and filling rates, shunting, empty trains, economic driving and the properties of the rolling stock are the factors influencing the energy efficiency of the traffic.

A larger proportion of freight trains were electrically hauled, while in passenger services the percentage of electric traction, which is done with electric locomotives and rolling stock, remained unchanged. The consumption of liquid fuels in rail traffic decreased by almost a fifth.

Pohjolan Liikenne obtained 6 new buses that have an EURO 6 emissions standard level. 41 old buses with emissions standard levels between EURO 0−EURO 2 were removed from use. During the year, 13 training days were held and they focused on an economic, proactive and safe driving method. Around 200 bus drivers participated in the training.

Logistic efficiency and passenger-kilometres are seen in energy efficiency

The passenger-kilometres of the rail passenger services increased by 1.9 per cent, which led to an increase in energy efficiency. In addition, passenger cars needed less heating because there was a warm period early in the year and at the end of the year.

In rail freight traffic, the proportion of electric traction increased by 4 percentage points, which helps to increase energy efficiency.

In road mass goods logistics, diesel oil consumption averaged 43 litres/100 kilometres, while the average filling rate was 35 tonnes.

VR Group has joined the Finnish energy efficiency agreements for public transport and freight transport that have the target of reducing energy consumption by nine per cent by the end of 2016. VR Transpoint’s rail logistics has achieved this target well ahead of the deadline.

More efficient heating and lighting

There were energy saving projects at the stations in Vainikkala, Lahti and Kuopio during 2014. The result of the first monitoring year was that the consumption was well below the consumption target, with a reduction of 76 per cent in energy costs. Consumption in Lahti was also below the consumption target, with a 30 per cent reduction in district heating consumption. Kuopio did not reach its target.

In the first phase of the energy saving project for the Helsinki depot’s coach shed, the ceiling lighting was renewed with LED lights. At the same time, the lighting controls were linked with the centralised building automation system, enabling adjusting the brightness of the lighting based on the use of the premises.

The outdoor lighting of the stations in Hyvinkää, Kerava and Kauniainen were replaced with more energy-efficient lighting. Indoor lighting has been renewed at the Seinäjoki station, in the Tampere depot and in the Kokkola freight wagon workshop.


The development of measuring the consumption of energy and water continued. Measurements at premises are increased so that consumption can be monitored in more detail on the building and system level. The transfer of consumption measurements will be made automatic by utilising the building automation system. At the same time, the reporting of consumption information will be centralised into one system.

The properties consumed a total of 83.6 gigawatt-hours of heating energy and 42.2 gigawatt-hours of electricity.

Total energy consumption in VR Group

Total energy consumption decreased by 8.7 per cent. There was a decrease in the consumption of electricity, fuels, natural gas and district heating in the Group. The change in consumption was affected by energy efficiency measures, changes in the structure of traffic and warmer weather compared to previous years.

The figures on energy consumption are based on the invoicing of suppliers, our own consumption measurements and the reporting of contractor vehicles. The total energy consumption includes the energy consumption of the work places and operations that are located in Finland.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
VR Group 6.53 6.11 5.59 5.27 4.8099999999999996
Rail services 3.69 3.71 3.63 3.45 3.19
Road services 1.8 1.41 0.98 1.03 0.91