Posted by Charis Fowler, Environmental Practices Adviser:
We installed a Voltage Optimiser (VO) on the main electricity supply at Belton House back in December. The voltage at the property was too high and also fluctuated causing numerous problems. We’ve now experienced four months of use since the installation…and the effects are really positive.
The effects of this piece of kit are much more exciting. In the first four months of use Belton have used 14% less electricity compared to the same months last year. To be able to really test the effects like for like (as we can’t be certain we’re selling the same number of hot meals and cups of tea to an equal number of visitors as last year!), the installer has done some live switching tests. Basically, switching the VO off and on and monitoring the difference!
This shows a 12% reduction in electricity use, which is fantastic.
So far this equates to around £2,000 of electricity and we’re only a third of a year since install. If this performance continues, the payback will be better than first anticipated, which is great for the Trust. We can then direct money that would otherwise have been spent on electricity to our conservation work elsewhere at the property.
The property team have noticed a number of other benefits too. Light bulbs aren’t blowing as frequently; the fire and security alarms don’t trip as often (less disturbed sleep for staff!) and our appliances should benefit from a longer life, now there will no longer be huge spikes in voltage across the property.
Next week we’re installing a VO at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire and hope the benefits there will be as good – I’ll post again and let you know how it goes…