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Maximising revenue with voltage optimisation

VPhase Head of Marketing Matt Cody looks at how solar PV has experienced a recent boom in the UK and how installers can maximise revenue with voltage optimisation.

Recent statistics from Ofgem show that the UK has installed more solar power in 2010 than in any other year, with April marking the first year since the introduction of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT). This surge in solar PV installs has been particularly prevalent in the domestic sector, with homeowners keen to take full advantage of the tariff or free installation schemes, whilst enjoying reduced energy bills and contributing towards a more sustainable future. 
This increasing demand for solar PV is not only contributing towards significant green growth in the UK, helping the government meet strict carbon reduction targets; it has also carved a clear business opportunity and financial incentive for electrical professionals. 

There are nearly 2000 Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered installers of solar PV systems in the UK already, with professional tradesmen understanding the commercial opportunity to ‘green up’ their technical knowledge and customer offering. 
However, tradesmen are now taking this one step further by wising up to additional ways to boost their revenue stream, such as installing other eco solutions alongside solar PV. This allows them to add significant value for their customers and maximise their earning potential in the process. Domestic voltage optimisation is one such technology that will complement a solar PV installation and add value - without any incremental time or cost implications.  

Domestic Voltage Optimisation 
We all know that voltage optimisation is something that large companies have been using for years, saving millions in the process. However, domestic voltage optimisation is now available to help homeowners make immediate and significant money, energy and carbon savings; all without changing their lifestyle or supplier. The VPhase device, which was heralded ‘Innovative Residential/Domestic Product of the Year’ at the Electrical Industry Awards, uses voltage optimisation to reduce and stabilise the incoming voltage to homes, bringing it to a steady level of around 220V in the UK. The result is a reduction in electricity costs of between 6% - 12%, lower energy consumption and calculated carbon savings that range from between 2.5 tonnes to 4.5 tonnes over the life of the product.

To date, VPhase has completed a number of independent trials of the unit, including North West-based housing association, Great Places Housing Group and 50 Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) customer homes under the UK Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme, to determine the lifetime carbon dioxide savings of the device. 
Solar PV and Voltage Optimisation – Working Together
Solar PV and VPhase voltage optimisation as a combined offering allows homeowners and installers to mutually benefit. The device is quick and cost-effective to install and carries a range of benefits for domestic users looking for a low-cost, long-term eco-offering with a guaranteed return on investment.  Working together, solar PV and VPhase can deliver an even greater reduction to payback periods, improve return on investment and provide optimum energy efficiency for the home. By adding voltage optimisation to the solar mix, it will also have no impact on your customer’s current supplier or lifestyle habits and instead will act as a fit, forget and save solution next to the consumer unit. The cost, savings and environmental benefits of combining the two are also clear: See figure 1.

Maximise your Revenue Opportunities 
For MCS installers, VPhase can provide clear guidance on how voltage optimisation can be scoped into jobs and the joint benefits of combining the VPhase with a solar PV installation.
VPhase also offers hands-on free training workshops to electricians across the UK, to demonstrate how the maintenance-free unit can be easily fitted within an hour. As well as receiving hands-on training, installers are also offered a 10% discount on any single unit purchased on the day and provided with supporting marketing literature for their customers.
We recognise that time and convenience are of the essence for electricians and they want to be able to go to their local distributor and buy the device while buying other parts, which is why VPhase is stocked in more than 800 outlets – both large distributors, to more regional, independent wholesalers throughout the UK. VPhase has also signed an agreement with one of Europe’s fastest-growing suppliers of renewable energy systems and related services, Eaga Heating Services Limited, for the nationwide supply of the device. 

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