Voltis Home sparks new business for wholesalers
By Jeremy Dodge, Head of Marketing & Technical Services for Marshall-Tufflex
Electrical contractors keen to offer their domestic customers a quick and easy way to reduce electricity bills that doesn’t involve additional training, government grants, extra paperwork or long lead-in times are increasingly turning to voltage optimisation systems to deliver for them.
The best units on the market return up to 18% savings on domestic electricity bills, take an hour or less to install and make savings as soon as they are switched on. Registered electricians have all the skills necessary for the installation procedure, making voltage optimisation (VO) systems a straight-forward and easy way for them to expand their service offering and boost their bottom line.
And that’s also the case for electrical wholesalers now that Marshall-Tufflex has entered the market and is supplying its VO system Voltis Home through the wholesale channel. Already a number of major wholesalers are retailing the units and finding that demand is outstripping supply, making this energy saving approach a good business prospect and revenue stream for them and their contractor clients.
Voltage optimisation is relatively new in the domestic market and the hardest part of most installations is explaining the technology to householders and reassuring them that it does what it says on the box. Voltage optimisation is a term that means little and a concept that can be difficult to grasp. However the thinking behind it is quite simple – voltage optimisers reduce the amount of electricity fed to appliances in a safe and controlled manner.
The technology has been around for many years, cutting its teeth in the commercial/industrial sector to become a proven and established method of reducing power bills and carbon emissions plus refining the quality of power and evening out supply peaks and troughs.
It was only a matter of time before scientific advancements paved the way for the miniaturisation of VO for domestic use at a cost-effective price point.
Why VO works is a simple case of supply and demand. The level of power supplied by the National Grid to domestic properties fluctuates constantly, from anywhere between 207V to as high as 253V. Normally households are supplied at around 240V.
Domestic electrical equipment is designed to work most efficiently at around 220V. The extra power that is not required (over voltage) dissipates as heat and vibration within appliances, reducing their life by as much as 90%. Voltage optimisers act as a ‘buffer’ between the National Grid mains feed and the domestic supply circuit, reducing the voltage, for example from 240V to 220V. This reduces electricity bills (by up to 18% in the case of Voltis Home), cuts carbon emissions and helps prolong the life of appliances.
Voltis Home is not the only domestic voltage optimiser on the market but it is the smartest, being the first intelligent system. It uses a transformer to step down voltage to a lower level and control parameters programmed into the unit enable it to self-manage – it monitors mains supply and domestic electricity demand.
As appliances are switched on and off Voltis Home reacts accordingly to save electricity. If the unit detects a problem with mains supply, for example it has dipped too low for VO to safely reduce it further, it will switch into bypass mode and continue monitoring mains until it returns to normal, at which point it returns to power saving mode.
Voltis Home’s intelligent operation also means it goes into standby if no appliances are being used, for example when house occupants are on holiday. This ensures it is not running when it does not need to, delivering a further power saving. There is no need to maintain Voltis Home once installed – simply check its display to see what savings are being achieved.
Voltis Home represents a major step forward in domestic voltage optimisation, delivering all the benefits of Marshall-Tufflex’s established Voltis commercial system but in a mini version suitable for homes or buildings (ie small commercial premises, restaurants etc) with single phase electrical supplies with a continual load of under 40Amps (Voltis Home will take up to 60Amps for up to half an hour and is rated to 100Amps in bypass).
For domestic users this means electricity savings of up to 18% are realistic and possible. This equates to as much as £150 per year for the average three-bed semi occupied by a family of four people, based on today’s average electricity prices.
Installation is straight-forward and can be completed in less time than most washing machine cycles. A registered electrician will install Voltis Home in about one hour, between the electricity meter and the main consumer unit. It reduces electricity consumption to the whole property, including cooker and power shower circuits. Power bills are reduced as soon as Voltis Home is switched on. Indeed, the unit includes a display showing ‘voltage in’ and ‘voltage out’, and amps being consumed, allowing users to quickly see how much the voltage is being reduced by and what they are saving at that moment.
As well as being easy to install, Voltis Home is easy to stock, with two versions available:
l Standard Voltis Home – for incoming voltages of up to 243Volts. RRP £297.50 + VAT
l HD Voltis Home for incoming voltages of up to 253Volts. RRP £327.50 + VAT
Both units are the same size (300mm x 240mm x 147mm unpackaged) but the HD version is 2kg heavier at 14kg. The voltage reduction ratio is the same for both versions and the small extra cost of the HD unit is offset by the larger absolute kW saving. Voltis Home is suitable for virtually all homes but we do recommend electricians measure incoming voltage prior to installation to check which system is most suitable.
Shopping around for the best home energy tariffs has become standard practice for many households and if changing supplier secured a saving of up to 18% on electricity bills we’re sure most bill payers would happily sign up. Voltis Home can offer this performance potential together with prolonged appliance life, making it a great deal and a smart choice for consumers, electrical contractors and wholesalers alike.