Erex Settlement: Paving the Way for a Fairer Market

With Erex Settlement, infrastructure managers receive access to a country-specific system that operates within their national rules. Gunn-Helene Krogstad, System Administrator for Erex Settlement, gives us a better idea of how settlement works and how it benefits all parties on the railway energy market.

“When it comes to energy billing, the infrastructure manager — for the country where the train has been running — is the one who is normally responsible for collecting the associated energy costs from the train operator. Historically, this means that the train operator has to talk to the infrastructure manager in each country and report the weight of their locomotives as well as the distance traversed during each train journey. From there, the infrastructure manager calculates the average energy consumption of the train per ton and kilometer — and then bills the train operator according to that calculation. The way this calculation is done differs from country to country, due to different national rules and variations in the manual reporting done by the train operator”, states Gunn-Helene Krogstad.

“While the system I just described may be easy to handle, it does not reflect the actual energy consumption of a specific train. Because of this, there is no incentive to save energy. For instance, if a train operator decides to change their driving style — by using a lot of breaking power instead of the maximum power all the time — they won’t see that efficiency reflected on their monthly bill.”

There are two different ways to settle energy in Erex system, according to Ms. Krogstad. “The first is direct: train operators receive a meter connected to one physical traction unit for similar countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In this case, the physical traction unit is the billing point. Therefore, one hour of energy is measured for each physical unit, which is connected to a single train operator, usually for the entire month. The other approach is based on the train journey or train-run model. If you have a single train running at 10 o’clock in the morning from Brussels to Antwerp, you can use any physical traction unit connected to it, but it is the virtual train-run that is the billing point. In this case, the Erex system uses both a virtual and physical allocation.”

She continues by saying that the primary benefit in using Erex for settlement is that it provides well-tested, transparent functionality for both infrastructure managers and train operators, allowing them to follow the flow of energy data, from the meter to the final invoice. 

The full version of this article can be found in Eress Magazine 2020.

Gunn-Helene Krogstad

Gunn-Helene Krogstad

Created Thursday, October 31, 2019

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