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Controlling voltage cuts bills and carbon

Electricity North West has completed a pioneering project showing that voltage stabilisation tech can generate energy and carbon savings while paving the way for a smarter energy network.

The electricity network operator for the North West trialled stabilisation software in a ‘Smart Street’ project involving 67,000 customers in Manchester, Wigan, Wigton and Egremont.

The results show that it cut £70 a year of customers’ bills by making their electrical appliances perform more efficiently.

The technology is also helping to prepare the electricity network for an expected increase in green technologies, which will have an impact on the way power is used. 

How voltage fluctuates

Green technologies that use large amounts of power, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, cause voltage to dip, while solar panels exporting electricity to the grid do the opposite. The impact of these changes will affect the performance of electrical appliances. 

By controlling fluctuations in voltage, more green technologies can be connected without impacting power quality or reliability. 

Steve Cox, head of engineering for Electricity North West, said: “Our innovative Smart Street project has proved that controlling voltage on our low voltage network brings significant benefits to our customers. 

“It can reduce their electricity bills, reduce carbon emissions and will provide more flexible solutions to help us connect low carbon technologies to the network.”

Business guide

A guide to voltage management equipment for businesses is available from the Carbon Trust here.

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