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Revisiting the Voltage Optimisation Sums After Energy Contract Renewal






A quirk of the privatisation of the energy industry means that 70% of UK businesses renew their fixed-term energy deals in October. With taking the time to shop around for new deals ahead of the 1st of October deadline often low on the list of priorities for time-poor businesses, many will now be facing a substantial rate increase. This will be particularly acute for those that signed longer agreements before the energy crisis really began to bite.  

Energy prices have come down somewhat from the acute, early phase of the energy crisis, and have now largely returned to the levels seen before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, they are still some 72% higher than the typical bill in 2021, and leading analysts Cornwall Insight have already warned of higher wholesale prices come January. As a result, some businesses entering new fixed-term deals could see their rates doubled. 

With the window to negotiate a favourable deal having passed, the next best alternative for businesses is to take the sting out of their increased rates as much as possible. The best way to do this is typically to use less energy. While better energy efficiency is always beneficial, the impact of each kWh saved increases as prices rise, and in turn the return on investment for energy efficiency technologies gets stronger. 

Voltage optimisation has already shown itself to be a highly competitive technology in terms of the savings it offers compared to initial cost. By lowering and conditioning incoming voltage to a level that equipment is designed to operate most efficiently at, voltage optimisation can lower overall energy costs by up to 10%. Depending on the nature of the site, the equipment and infrastructure already installed, and how much energy costs have increased, this figure could be even higher. 

For businesses that have already explored the sums for voltage optimisation on their own site, or indeed other energy efficiency technology, this autumn and coming winter could well be the time to revisit those options. As ever when it comes to making energy management decisions, it is vital to keep your future sustainability and carbon reduction commitments in mind as well.  

While voltage optimisation can represent substantial savings, for businesses with high energy costs, ambitious net zero plans or simply an innovative approach, a smart microgrid is another area to explore. If energy costs from your supplier have increased substantially, another way to reduce those costs, alongside energy efficiency, is to use as little electricity directly from your supplier as possible. Instead, generate power yourself using on-site generation, such as solar PV, to minimise exposure to volatile wholesale markets or steep increases in fixed-term prices. 

While on-site generation alone can provide substantial savings, many businesses are finding that establishing a smart microgrid offers the best possible solution when it comes to mitigating rising energy costs from suppliers. By combining on-site generation with battery energy storage and intelligent control software, a smart microgrid can operate independently of the wider grid when called upon. Controls powered by artificial intelligent can automatically make decisions on how to use, store or purchase energy to ensure that it is as cost-effective as possible. In addition, a smart microgrid offers a host of other benefits, including better power resilience and allowing new technologies to be integrated into sites that otherwise face challenges around a constrained grid. 

Find out more about mitigating your energy costs with Powerstar here

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