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How can voltage optimisation save a business money?

You may have heard people talking about voltage optimisation, and the possible ways in which it could benefit a business. Indeed, many people have asked us about it recently, which led us to decide it was the time to explain what it’s all about, and how it might help you. Put simply, this technology allies your business’ energy needs more precisely with supply. In the UK, the National Grid supplies a slightly higher voltage than is actually required. This means you will be paying for more electricity than you will use, as well as emitting more carbon dioxide than you need to. Voltage optimisation therefore manages that exchange more efficiently, so that you only use the electricity that the premises require, at that particular time. Voltage optimisation can therefore reduce your business’ energy demands, thereby saving you money and also contributing to energy efficiency measures. Obviously all businesses are different and energy demands therefore also vary, but most businesses can look to around 15% savings after such an installation, and perhaps up to a quarter of their previous energy usage. At a time of high energy prices, that will very quickly appeal to many businesses. And it actually gets better from there. Because of the energy efficiency aspect to voltage optimisation, there are various finance support vehicles in place, including the possibility of a 40% grant from the Low Carbon Business Programme. Again, situations will always vary, but a typical payback period - in terms of the savings made - is likely to be only one to two years. If this sounds of interest then let’s proceed to talk a little more about a technology and installation involved. Firstly, you will need to survey your business’ current energy situation, in order to determine what form of optimisation might best suit your needs. Premises will always be unique, with their own nuanced energy demands and the costs involved with installing a voltage optimisation system will vary depending on those needs. All situations are unique and each installation will be bespoke, to ensure the best possible savings. By treating each environment on its own merits, the right type of system can be installed, ensuring equipment runs as economically as possible, using precisely the required voltage.

How to install a voltage optimiser

Well, the company you choose to conduct the installation will fit a device as an intermediary with the mains electricity, to optimise voltage to that which is required by the equipment running at that time. The voltage optimisation can therefore compensate for the general oversupply of voltage by the National Grid, as well as any spikes and dips that might occur, to make sure the equipment is all running as efficiently as possible. There are two main systems. Step-down transformers will merely reduce the voltage, whereas true voltage optimisers will be more proactive in varying voltage levels whilst running equipment, assisting with harmonic and transient power quality issues. As well as simple costs savings there are also other ways in which the installation of a voltage optimisation system might help your business. You might, for instance, be able to use the technology to monitor energy usage and thereby see where further costs may be saved. You will also help with the maintenance and long life of your machinery. Finally, lower carbon emissions will also assist with environmental strategies, that might further be incorporated into positive PR stories. So, it’s a win win situation. We would, however, counsel that if you would like to install such a system, you go to a reputable company, as there are systems on the market that aren’t true voltage optimisers. But install the right system and you will be well on your way to a more streamlined business.


Published by Utility Helpline on