During January and February, Swiss Rail is experimenting with lower train temperatures in the hope of cutting its electricity bill. Dubbed the temperature reduction test project, the experiment will be run on the double-decker S-Bahn trains running from Zurich.
During winter Swiss Rail heats carriages to 22 degrees. The project, run with Lucerne University, will alternate the temperature from 22 to 20 degrees in some carriages, which will be marked with stickers.
The train operator reckons if all of Zurich’s S-Bahn carriages were heated to 20 degrees, instead of 22, annual savings of 3,700 megawatts hours would be possible, enough to power 1,000 households.
These savings are not surprising. Lowering your home heating thermostat by 1 degree could shave 5-10% off your energy bill and avoid CO2 emissions equivalent to a 1,600 km road trip, according to the EU Climate Action.
Project staff will be on board quizzing passengers. Those who miss them can respond online.
Air conditioners, like heaters, a use a lot of electricity. Perhaps Swiss Rail passengers should get ready for summer sweat tests.
Swiss Rail press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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