Bavarian Zugspitzbahn Presents Savings Measures

Almost a month before the planned start of the season on the Zugspitze on December 2nd, the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG (BZB) presented savings measures, the company's energy requirements and positioned itself for snowmaking in the Garmisch-Classic ski area.
Despite the renewed exceptional situation, the BZB will offer regular skiing operations in the 2022/2023 winter season. Due to the high energy prices and in order to actively save energy, snow is limited in the Garmisch-Classic ski area this winter season. It is in the economic interest of the BZB to work as energy-efficiently as possible. Accordingly, there are a number of savings measures in various areas of the company.
Snow is limited in the Garmisch-Classic
Snowmaking represents an existential basis in the Garmisch-Classic ski area and is indispensable. The extent of the snowmaking in relation to the electricity price and the situational availability of electricity will be at the center of all considerations. Careful consideration is always given to whether the use of snow guns makes sense in terms of resources. The snowmaking relates exclusively to the Garmisch-Classic ski area. The Zugspitze ski area is a pure natural snow ski area, so there is no snow-making infrastructure.
The BZB makes the decision for economic reasons, but also for social responsibility: It is a decision for its own employees, all companies and partners in the village that are directly or indirectly dependent on winter tourism, for the restaurants and hotels, for ski schools, ski rental companies and for the sporty offspring. "We face up to the responsibility locally and will maintain our quality despite immensely increasing costs," explains CEO Matthias Stauch.
Findings from the energy audits and concrete savings measures
Since 2014, the BZB has been analyzing the company's energy consumption using energy audits. As a result, weak points or outdated technology are identified, potential savings are determined and energy requirements are reduced.
Measures already taken in the past:
  • Installation of intelligent electricity meters that show above-average consumption in a comprehensible manner and thus make it remediable
  • Replacement of old light bulbs throughout the company
  • Insulation of hot water pipes
  • Pump replacements, use of efficient heating pumps
  • Replacement of old windows, use of multiple glazing
  • Replacement of heating oil, use of synthetic diesel (GTL fuel)
  • Use of GPS-based snow depth measurement on the snow groomers, thereby reducing diesel consumption and the amount of snow required (through targeted distribution of the snow) to a greater extent
  • No print advertising material: 2-3 print types per year
  • Continuous expansion of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the cable cars and lift systems for self-generation of electricity
  • Grass clippings from the meadows in the Garmisch-Classic are mowed and taken to the regional biogas plant. This energy gain can supply 117 households for a year
Measures that will be taken additionally in this winter season 2022/2023:
  • Restricted snowmaking, ie depending on the weather and temperature, select which areas of the slopes must be snowed in order to ensure operation
  • Reduction of the snow cover and possibly the width of the piste, provided that the amount of natural snow is limited, of course always from the point of view of piste safety
  • Switch off the lighting at the mountain stations of the Alpspitzbahn and Zugspitze at night, as far as possible
  • There will be no radiant heaters on the terraces/in the outdoor areas of the gastronomy this winter
  • Seat heaters in the lifts are off
  • If the number of guests allows it, the speed of the orbits is reduced by up to 50% (e.g. on bad weather days / during the week)
  • Waiver of overnight garages (bringing the cabins into the garages), if possible
The BZB is aware that the energy requirements for snowmaking cannot be compensated for by the measures. However, the decision was made to consider all possible potentials to reduce the energy demand.
Overview of energy requirements
  • overall power consumption: 9 GWh per fiscal year
  • Energy costs per financial year: 2019/2020 financial year: approx. €2.5 million
  • Ratio of energy requirements between winter and summer operation: Garmisch-Classic: winter is 5.9 times higher than summer
  • Zugspitze: Winter is 2.5 times higher than summer
  • Percentage distribution of the energy requirement: 40% energy for the operation of all railways and lifts including the rack railway
  • 20% snowmaking in the Garmisch-Classic
  • 40% heating points, supply and heating of the catering establishments, the workshops and the administration
  • Energy requirement for the seat heating in the chairlift: 30 kWh per day of operation (8.5 hours) for all 4-seater chairs
  • Energy requirement per skier: 16 kWh (including slope preparation and snowmaking)
  • Energy requirement for snowmaking per skier: 4.2 kWh (calculated for 450,000 skiers in the Garmisch-Classic)
  • New in the 2022/2023 winter season: parking space management
Irrespective of the energy crisis, it is clear that the management of the parking areas at the Zugspitze, Wank and Garmisch-Classic valley stations is unavoidable not only in summer but also in winter.
By means of a test season, the BZB is evaluating whether additional parking fees can persuade visitors to travel more by public transport (train, local and ski buses, rack railway, carpooling, etc.). The BZB not only intervenes with parking space management, but also creates concrete offers with attractive combination tickets (DB ticket + ski pass / Garmisch Ski Ticket) to encourage a rethink. Train passengers (with presentation of a valid DB ticket) get a discount on mountain railway tickets.
After the season, an analysis is carried out to determine whether the introduction of parking fees has the desired, relieving effect. The management of the parking spaces begins with the start of ski operations after the autumn inspections. Parking will then cost five euros per day in all BZB car parks. The parking fees apply to every car, regardless of which ticket the guest purchases. Time and season ticket holders have the exclusive opportunity to purchase a season parking ticket for 45 euros.

Share This Article