Union Pacific Railroad

At a Glance


Transport and Warehousing

Project Types

Clean and Renewable Energy, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Industrial Energy Efficiency




Omaha, NE


Katrina Prutzman analyzed electricity use, developed a life cycle analysis for AC sustems and evaluated solar oppurtunities for Union Pacific.


Union Pacific asked Katrina Prutzman to uncover oppurtunities for energy waste reduction.


While at Union Pacific, Prutzman analyzed electricity use throughout the railroad and identified lighting as the largest use and opportunity for reduction. Prutzman developed a life cycle analysis for air conditioning systems to demonstrate that preventive maintenance including regular filter changes and annual inspections could result in a lower total cost of ownership. Prutzman also evaluated solar opportunities in both rail yards and remote communication sites along the track. Two identified pilot sites have the potential to save Union Pacific $30,000 in energy costs and over 300,000 kWh per year, with the possibility of expanding to additional locations.

Potential Impact

These avoided costs could have an estimated project NPV of $7.3 Million for company-wide implementation and include a potential annual reduction in electricity consumption of almost 8 million kWh. She initiated a replicable LED lighting conversion project in a locomotive shop that could save 16,000 kWh and $6,000 per year. While collecting information for her projects, Prutzman was able to engage and connect employees across many functions and regions of the company. While the gains from this are not easily quantifiable, these connections facilitated collaboration on best practices in efficiency that will continue past the end of the summer fellowship.

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