Reducing energy consumption is all the rage right now, whether it’s to reduce your energy bills or to reduce your carbon emissions. Anyone looking into how to reduce their energy consumption has likely come across the term ‘voltage optimisation‘. But what actually is voltage optimisation? And how does it work?
What is voltage optimisation?
Voltage optimisation is a technique that is designed to save energy. It regulates the incoming voltage from the National Grid, providing your home or business with the optimum voltage instead. It does so through a smart device called a voltage optimiser.
How do voltage optimisers work?
Voltage optimisers are designed and installed to work for the specific electrical equipment in a property or business. They are used to save energy and reduce energy costs, and can help prevent operational issues.
The average voltage supply from the National Grid is around 242V, and the vast majority of electrical equipment is rated at (meaning they require) 220V. Supplying them with more than this can cause problems. Plus different pieces of electrical equipment work at different voltages. Voltage optimisation allows you to supply voltage best suited for the items. As a result, you don’t waste the excess energy, reducing your electricity consumption.
How much do voltage optimisers cost?
The price of your voltage optimisation technology will depend on what brand and spec voltage optimiser you’re looking at, but generally speaking, the prices for voltage optimisation tech start at around £350 and can go as high as £1,500 for larger or higher spec systems. In some cases there may also be additional charges for installation, too.
What are the benefits of voltage optimisation technology?
If it’s going to potentially cost as much as £1,500, why bother? Well, installing a voltage optimiser has a range of benefits that make the one time cost worth it. For example:
Lowers your carbon emissions
Since you’re using less energy, your carbon footprint will reduce once you have had a voltage optimiser installed. For homes this is a great way to work toward being more sustainable. For businesses, you can use a voltage optimiser as a step toward a net-zero target and increase your business’s eco-friendly credentials.
Savings begin immediately
Since you’re instantly using less energy, you’ll notice energy savings as soon as you’ve had your voltage optimiser installed in your home or business. You’ll find that you soon make up the money you spent on the voltage optimisation, with average energy savings for businesses being as high as thousands of pounds each year.
Better power quality
Since you’ll have a more stable and lower voltage power supply, you’ll notice that you’re less prone to dips in energy. You will also cause less wear and tear on your electrical equipment, as most pieces of electrical equipment cannot cope with too much supply voltage for too long without suffering some kind of damage.
How easy are voltage optimisers to install?
Since voltage optimisation involves installing a voltage optimiser near your energy meter, it is not advised for anyone to try and install their own. You should call a qualified electrician to install your voltage optimisation technology as they’ll know how to safely work around the power supply.
What are the statistics?
If you’re intrigued by the idea of some energy savings and reduced electricity consumption, but you’d like to know precisely what’s on offer, here’s what you need to know:
- Voltage optimisation can yield average energy savings of up to 15%
- A family home could see returns on their investment of up to 26%
- A business using voltage reduction could save £3,300 across five stores in one year
- Large businesses could save as much as 1,800 tonnes of carbon emissions annually
Are there downsides to having voltage optimisation technology installed?
While there are plenty of positives for you, your bank and your electrical equipment, there are also a few negatives to changing your energy supply.
First and foremost, the set up costs are not accessible for everyone. For some households, it may take months to save enough to pay for the voltage optimisation. For businesses, it could take months worth of profit away.
Likewise, it is incredibly likely that you will save money on your electricity supply by changing the supply voltage, however this isn’t necessarily a guarantee. In some cases, reducing the higher voltage won’t always reduce the wear and tear on your electrical equipment.
What to consider when choosing a voltage optimisation solution
Once you’ve determined that you need or want a voltage optimiser, there are a few things to make sure you consider when looking at different brands.
A voltage optimisation solution should always be able to keep running. This means that even if there’s an issue with the electricity supply. Even when there are outages, you want your voltage optimiser to keep working.
Your voltage optimiser should be about 97% to 98% in order for you to make the most savings. Whether it is taking in higher voltage or lower, it should be equipped to help with energy saving all day every day.