The global energy crisis
The world is experiencing a global energy crisis due to a shortage in fuel supply. This has resulted in soaring record wholesale energy purchase prices. Many energy suppliers have ceased trading in such challenging times and the suppliers that remain have been faced with no other option than to drastically increase tariffs. This goes for both new and existing customers.
With Ofgem capping price increases at an estimated 54%, leading industry experts predict energy prices will remain high and volatile throughout 2023. Businesses need to find new ways to reduce business energy spend by improving energy efficiencies in the workplace and investing in new energy-saving technologies. One of these solutions is Voltage Optimisation.
Why are energy bills rising in the UK?
Influencing factors that have led to the soaring cost of energy includes:
- The global pandemic resulted in a decrease in demand for energy and as demand fell, so did the supply
- As countries started to recover from the pandemic, demand for gas began to increase, however, could not be met due to a shortage in supply
- A reduction in renewable energy throughout the UK, such as solar and wind
- Colder weather during the winter months and employees furloughed or working from home
- The Russian invasion of Ukraine created an instantaneous global gas supply shock
Save business energy with Voltage Optimisation Technology
As businesses, we are unable to control the purchase costs and tariffs from our energy suppliers. However, we can save business energy by introducing energy-saving methods including the installation of a Voltage Optimisation system.
Voltage Optimisation is an energy-saving voltage management system designed specifically for energy efficiency in electrical equipment. It is used to improve power quality by regulating, cleaning, and conditioning the incoming power supply to reduce the incoming supply voltage to the optimum level for the onsite equipment and appliances.
What is Voltage Optimisation?
Voltage optimisation is a technology used to regulate and optimise the voltage levels in an electrical system to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and extend the lifespan of electrical equipment.
In most electrical systems, the voltage supplied by the utility company is often higher than necessary for the equipment to operate efficiently. This can result in energy wastage and increased wear and tear on equipment, leading to higher maintenance and replacement costs over time.
Voltage optimisation systems work by reducing the voltage supplied to the equipment to the optimal level needed for it to operate efficiently. This is done by installing an electronic device, typically a voltage regulator or transformer, that adjusts the voltage level to match the specific needs of the equipment.
By optimising the voltage levels, voltage optimisation systems can help reduce energy consumption and lower electricity bills while extending the lifespan of electrical equipment. Additionally, voltage optimisation can help reduce carbon emissions by reducing the overall energy consumption of a building or facility.
How can Voltage Optimisation save energy?
Some premises can be supplied with electricity at a higher voltage level than required, if this applies to your premises, you could be wasting both energy and money whilst also being responsible for greater carbon emissions than necessary.
Installing a Voltage Optimisation energy-saving system into your premises means you can match the supply voltage to the electrical equipment on site. This will help to reduce the energy consumed by ensuring excess voltage supplied by the national grid isn’t used at the individual premises.
How much can Voltage Optimisation reduce your energy consumption?
Voltage Optimisation is an energy-saving technique that can help businesses reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills by up to a staggering 19%, with businesses reporting average savings of 12-15%.
The exact savings you can make by installing a Voltage Optimisation unit will depend on your premise’s incoming voltage supply from the grid, your energy consumption and the types of electrical equipment on site.
A site survey is required to assess the suitability and to provide more accurate savings that could be achieved. Contact OKEL to arrange your Free Energy Site Survey.
Why are some voltage supplies higher than necessary?
Prior to 1993, the standard electrical supply specification in the UK was 240V with a 6% tolerance. Due to this, most electrical distribution networks that have been in place for many years were designed to deliver electricity within this range.
Historically it was identified that the supply voltage throughout UK and Europe had been 220V with a 6% tolerance. Therefore steps were introduced to simplify the market for electrical equipment across Europe and the Low Voltage Directive was introduced. The purpose was to harmonise and regulate the standard operating voltage of electrical equipment to be supplied throughout Europe.
The statutory supply specification was lowered to 230V +10% or -6% variance, meaning that theoretically, the supply voltage can vary from site to site, from 216.2V to 253V (with the UK averaging 242V). These levels remain current today.
How does Voltage Optimisation work?
Incoming voltage supply from the National Grid is supplied at a higher voltage than is necessary due to old electrical distribution networks that were in place pre-1993.
An incoming voltage supply of more than the nominal 230V can result in excessive energy consumption and associated charges. Therefore installing a Voltage Optimisation system reduces the voltage of electricity supplied to the equipment onsite and ensures the excess voltage from the national grid isn’t used. By simply rejecting and returning the surplus to the grid, site consumption is minimised, whilst remaining within the operating conditions specified by the equipment manufacturer.
Electrical equipment meeting this standard can be recognised by the CE mark and designed to operate within a nominal supply of 230V. This means the oversupply of unnecessary additional volts is simply wasting energy, producing higher than necessary energy bills, and excessive levels of carbon emissions.
The benefits of using Voltage Optimisation in business
The benefits of installing Voltage Optimisation technology in the workplace include:
- Instant energy savings of up to 19% can be achieved, due to a reduction in electricity consumption (businesses report average energy savings between 12-15%)
- Reduced Carbon Footprint due to fewer harmful carbon emissions
- Electrical equipment on site can last up to 50% longer, saving money on costs to replace expensive electrical equipment (oversupply of electricity, especially in commercial and industrial environments with 3-phase supplies, can drastically shorten the life of expensive machinery and motors due to overheating)
- Significant savings in reducing ongoing maintenance costs to repair equipment on site caused by unnecessary heat, noise, and vibration because of oversupply. All of which have a negative impact on electrical motors and components
- Intelligent models of Voltage Optimisation units include a remote monitoring system that enables businesses to track exact energy savings in real time
Who are the best voltage optimisation companies in the UK?
There are many different manufacturers of energy-saving technologies on the market including UK-manufactured brands such as GW Energy and Energyace who offer years of proven experience in the highest levels of design and manufacturing of voltage optimisers for commercial and domestic applications along with other energy-saving technologies such as Power Factor correction and Surge Protection.
Intelligent models of Voltage Optimisation units include a remote monitoring system that enables you to track your exact savings in real-time and report on energy savings.
Which manufacturer and model of voltage optimiser to choose?
OKEL’s free energy site survey will allow our energy experts to fully capture your business’ energy requirements, including any site-specific issues, so we can identify the size and model of the voltage optimiser that is best suited to your individual needs. Contact OKEL to arrange your Free Energy Site Survey.