How does voltage optimisation work?
Voltage optimisers from different suppliers may differ, but generally speaking, they work by taking the voltage required for the business premises from the National Grid to be used by the electrical equipment and appliances on-site. Surplus energy would then be returned, so no energy is wasted.
This system helps to streamline energy consumption and boosts supply. In a time that businesses are being urged to be as environmentally friendly as possible, it not only help to reduce energy bills but acts as a good PR for customers looking for more socially responsible businesses to shop with.
You will have a choice of three voltage optimisation systems;
- Variable voltage optimisation - This works to reduce energy to a predetermined level by using variable electronic voltage optimisation technology.
- Fixed voltage optimisation - This sets the incoming voltage supply to a specified level.
- Combined / Integrated transformer - Not as typical as variable or fixed voltage optimisers, these integrated systems are relatively new to the market and offer a combined system.
Depending on the size and type of business, huge savings can be made. Businesses might already shop around for the best-priced business energy supplier and initiate other energy-saving techniques to help save money and energy. This will help ensure the power supply is as efficient as possible.
Your new voltage optimiser would normally run alongside an existing transformer. However, some combined units are now available on the market that combines optimisation and regulation.
Selecting the right optimiser for your needs will depend on your needs. Optimisers that closely manage the voltage should theoretically produce better results, but the initial cost will be higher. Fixed units offer more stability and are less likely to need regular maintenance.
Your choice will be influenced by your budget, business and equipment type, and long term plans.
Pros and cons of voltage optimisation?
If you are considering installing voltage optimisation technology in your commercial premises, you will need to decide whether it makes sense to do so for your individual business needs. One of the best ways to do this is to weigh up the pros and cons, and this will then allow you to make a fully informed decision.
Pros of installing voltage optimisers
- The technology is specifically designed to streamline energy consumption and reduce waste.
- Streamlining energy consumption can result in lower electricity bills.
- Streamlining energy consumption help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and become environmentally friendly.
- This technology has been used for over 100 years, is tried and tested and has been proven to work.
- Individual appliances, electrical equipment and lighting will have different percentages of energy savings.
- Voltage optimisers can be installed at the low voltage incomer or distribution level.
Cons of installing voltage optimisers
- Installation of voltage optimisation systems can disrupt the power supply.
- The initial cost of installing voltage optimisation systems can be relatively high.
Considering short, medium, and long term business plans
Deciding on whether voltage optimisation is right for your business will depend on a number of factors. Here are some of the most important things to be considered to determine whether this will be cost-effective and benefit the business in the long run.
Considering your short, medium, and long-term business plans will help you decide whether the installation of voltage optimisation technology in your business premises is going to be worth it.
Take some time to look into the reductions that could be made and the subsequent energy savings. How long will it take for the savings to offer a return on the initial investment? Do you currently use enough electrical equipment or appliances to warrant the initial investment? Is this likely to change in the future? These are all things you will want to think about.
Premises and business strategies
If you are on leased premises, you will have to think about how long you plan to be there and whether it is long enough for you to see a return on the investment.
You will also have to think about whether you plan on upgrading or expanding the business. If there are likely to be significant operational changes in the future, you might consider moving to bigger premises. Due to the high initial cost, voltage optimisation should only be considered if you plan to be in the premises long enough to see a return on the initial outlay.
Current and potential energy consumption
It is important to consider current energy management implementations, potential voltage variation issues on-site, the expected benefits, and whether this will impact future equipment upgrades.
General site and operational considerations
Understanding how your business plans to develop will also have a part to play as you may regularly have to replace or upgrade equipment.
You should also take into account any known issues with the electrical infrastructure on site. This may have to be addressed prior to the installation, depending on its nature.
How do I choose a voltage optimisation supplier?
When selecting a supplier to install a voltage optimisation system, it is vital that you do some research to ensure you get the most qualified professionals for the job.
One way to ensure a supplier's suitability is to check whether they are a member of VOICE. The Voltage Optimisation Industry Council for Excellence is a self-governing body, independent association that is made up of voltage management equipment producers in the UK.
Any supplier that uses the VOICE logo must adhere to the standards and code of practice. For further information about VOICE, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 585 3043.
Searching for a voltage optimisation supplier is similar to searching for a new business gas supplier or electricity supplier. There will be a lot of great options, but taking the time to find the right one to suit your individual needs can help to save you money and result in a better service.
Remember to use our quick and easy comparison tool if you are on the lookout for a new business energy supplier. As well as looking at the best tariffs for you from the Big Six, we also check what smaller energy suppliers can offer to ensure you find the most suitable energy solution for your business needs.