Innovation That Matters

Voltage optimization for the home

Property & Construction

Voltage optimization technology has been around for years, providing a way to cut energy costs and carbon emissions by reducing a building’s incoming voltage and maintaining it at a stable level. Whereas traditionally the technology’s costs have been prohibitive for all but large organizations, recently a British company created a low-cost device that puts it within reach of everyday consumers. VPhase‘s namesake device, which was developed in conjunction with Liverpool University, gets fitted by an electrician next to a home’s fuse box and operates on socket outlets and lighting circuits. From there, it optimizes the incoming voltage to a constant 220V in the UK, giving homeowners energy savings throughout the house without requiring any changes to their behaviour. The amount of energy saved will vary depending on the incoming voltage and type of appliances in the house, the company says, but typical savings include a 17 percent reduction in the electricity consumption of fridges and freezers, and 15 percent savings on lighting and central heating pumps. VPhase CEO Lee Juby explains: “Many electrical appliances will work more efficiently and use less electricity at a much lower voltage. If every household in the UK used voltage optimization, a typical home could save carbon emissions of 270kg every year—the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road.” Currently available only within the UK, VPhase is priced at GBP 299 including VAT and delivery. Its maker is working with Scottish & Southern Energy and Ofgem to determine the product’s lifetime CO2 savings. It’s also working with British Gas to market the product through British Gas’s existing supply channels. One to partner with and localize for other parts of the world? (Related: Home energy monitoring, delivered by GoogleVisualising energy useEnergy meters get tweetingSmart thermostat is always online.)



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