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Voltage Optimisation

A drive by government to reduce carbon emissions is affecting county councils as new legislation soon comes into force. Voltage optimisation addresses this issue while also significantly reducing energy costs.

Reducing the energy consumption of commercial building users is a high priority for the UK Government. In April 2010, the UK’s new legally binding climate change and energy saving scheme called the Carbon Reduction Commitment will be implemented, affecting the estimated 5,000 large business and public sector organisations that consume more than 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity. Companies that fail to reduce their carbon emissions will be penalised by fines. Smaller electricity consumers are also actively being encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint.

Voltage optimisation reduces both carbon emissions and energy costs. Active Energy Ltd., manufactures and installs the VoltageMaster range of voltage optimisation equipment, which can reduce voltage usage in commercial buildings by up to 20%. By reducing electricity generation, carbon emissions are also reduced. The VoltageMaster optimises the voltage used in a building by regulating the incoming supply of electricity to produce a constant output of 220 volts to the whole building, creating electricity savings of up to 20%. The sophisticated but easy to install VoltageMaster device can be adapted to complement existing infrastructures.

In the United Kingdom electricity is always supplied at a higher voltage than required by consumer machinery and appliances. The average voltage distributed through the UK is 242 volts. Electrical equipment is designed to operate most effectively at 220 volts. Operating electrical equipment at its optimal voltage level using the VoltageMaster reduces maintenance costs and extends the product life.

In addition, the voltage optimisation equipment designed by Active Energy includes a 10% Overload Capacity to protect against fluctuations in power supply, a bypass Switch to prevent loss of power to the facility, a power meter that enables assessment of power consumption and remote monitoring and a separate control panel aiding installation in smaller switch rooms. Further optional features include surge suppression, protecting against incoming voltage spikes and a power factor correction to bring the voltage and the electrical current into phase throughout the building.

Cash-strapped councils seeking funding for carbon reducing equipment such as voltage optimisation technologies have recently been given a helping hand as Salix Finance, the public sector arm of the Carbon Trust, has relaxed its guidelines on loans for carbon emission reduction equipment for public sector bodies. Salix now offers interest free loans based on a payback of up to five years and no credit checks are required. (Previously Salix only offered grants to public sector bodies on condition of matched funding this has been removed.) The loans are available to local authorities, NHS hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, libraries and any other public body not directly controlled by central government. The VoltageMaster qualifies for interest-free Salix loans.
To date, the VoltageMaster has already been successfully installed in a wide range of public sector buildings including council buildings, schools, prisons and leisure facilities.

Voltage optimisation technology is rapidly gaining recognition by the UK authorities as an efficient method of reducing carbon emissions and creating cost efficiencies, especially in the current, straitened economic conditions that all public sector organisations are facing. For instance, Active Energy recently received formal acceptance of its tender to supply its Voltage Reduction and/or Optimisation Technology under a Framework Agreement to members of the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation. The Framework Agreement has an estimated value of £15 million over a period of two years. The ESPO has stated it believes that demand for the technology will be high, particularly when recognising the need for public bodies to comply with national targets for reduction in carbon emissions. Further voltage optimisation equipment tenders are increasingly being issued by regional authorities.

In May 2009, the Associated Parliamentary Engineering Group released a report on voltage optimisation, highlighting the benefits the technology provides. The report was launched at the House of Commons with an introduction by the APEG Chairman, Bill Olner MP, who expressed his support for voltage optimisation and Active Energy’s technology. He cited the technology as a practical, simple and timely solution that would provide both the energy consumption reductions and cost savings that the public sector is seeking.

Voltage optimisation is a tangible way forward for public sector bodies to contribute to saving the environment while reducing their costs. Voltage optimisation technology produces instant results from the moment of installation and allows users to monitor their savings. The equipment is totally non-controversial and is largely maintenance free. In effect, a rapid roll-out of voltage optimisation equipment on a large, national scale would enable the UK to make substantial inroads into its energy reducing targets.

For further information visit www.active-energy.com

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