Product Review: Vphase Voltage Optimisation
If you could tell your customer they can make savings of up to 12% on their electricity bill without having to make any changes to their lifestyle, you will have their attention. Saving energy is a hot topic at the moment, and whilst there are lots of small ways to save money on electricity, how can a significant saving of 12% - that is around 1 months worth of 'free' electricity be achieved?
The answer is within voltage optimisation. The Vphase units work by reducing the voltage output to 220V (standard UK voltage is 245V.) Most electrical appliances carry on operating normally at this level thereby reducing the energy needed. The great advantage to the Vphase models as against other types of voltage optimisation products is that they lower and regulate the voltage output whereas other products 'chop' the voltage supply.
Many electricians and domestic installers will be familiar with the original Vphase VX1 unit, which has been installed in many homes across the UK which is connected via the customers consumer unit. Vphase has gained a respected name in innovative thinking on energy saving since its conception in 2007. The VX1 continues to live up to its name for what is still a huge selling point for Vphase – a fit and forget solution. Once installed there is absolutely no maintenance involved – not even annual checks which is great news and on top of that, there is a 5 year warranty which in most cases means the unit will have paid for both itself and the installation cost during that time.
The Vphase unit itself is white, very lightweight and unobtrusive with a silent operation. It is ideal for new builds and retro builds. The technology itself has been independently tested to show it can save up to 12% on electricity bills. There is no need to inform the electricity supplier and there is no change of lifestyle required.
At the end of 2012, Vphase launched 2 new optimisation units – known as the VX2 and VX5. The VX2 is essentially an updated version of the VX1 – it is a higher specification model with flexible connection options and fast installation. This is a key development to the electrician or domestic installer responsible for the installation of the Vphase unit. In the past, re-configuration of the consumer unit was often necessary in order to install the VX1 which could be fairly time consuming, however this has now been resolved. The VX2 can now be be fitted to a split consumer unit for optimal energy saving or fitted directly between the meter tails and the consumer unit for ease of installation. There is also a new power bar display which replaces the LED display on the VX1 as well as a fresh new look. Both the VX1 and the VX2 are designed for homes with single phase installations of up to c. 10,000 kWh per annum.
The Vphase VX5 model is a great new addition to the offering from Vphase and will be well received by customers who have not been able to benefit from a Vphase optimisation unit in the past. These are those who have large homes and small businesses – the VX5 can manage loads of up to c. 30,000 kWh per annum thanks to a high capacity transformer that is able to handle greater loads. The VX5 is the same style and size as the VX2 and has the same benefits.
The Vphase unit is the perfect addition to any home or small business that is keen on energy efficiency – in fact the Vphase units work very happily alongside Solar PV. Solar PV produces savings of around £895 a year with an 8.8% return on investment. Adding a Vphase voltage optimisation unit for an extra £300 (after the £10,000 investment on solar PV) would see returns of a £955 saving per year and a 9.4% return on investment. This increases the capacity for 'free' energy from the PV.
The Vphase voltage optimisation units must be installed by a qualified electrician or domestic installer and with its simple uncluttered design it is easy for the customer to tell that it is working as it should be – reducing energy use and saving money.