Let’s kick off with some basics – Electricity is a bit of a dark art and many folk are scared to mess with it – and quite right too.

So for my clients the main priority is to cut the amount of electricity being consumed – and in so doing save money.

Electricity is supplied primarily as kWh (kilowatt hours) – a direct measure of the energy consumed and the basis of the charges from your supplier.  Of course there are other charges which I will discuss later but let’s look at energy consumption for now.

kWh are made up of two things

  • kW and hours – simple I know but this is important
  • kW represents your Power Demand and this is a function of voltage
  • for the purpose of simplicity       kW = Amps x Voltage

kWh are simply the number of hours that the load has operated

example #1 = 250W lo-bay light fitting in a warehouse running for 10-hours will – nominally – use 10 x 250W = 2,500W = 2.5kW. 

example #2 = a 9kW electric shower running for 10-mins will use 9 x (10/60) = 1.5kW

Now this is somewhat over-simplified but it should allow you get a feel for what your electric “stuff” is going to consume when running. 

I apologise to anyone with a full understanding of electricity but you would be amazed how many clients just don’t seem to grasp this kinda thing

Saving Electricity

Switch off equipment when it is not needed – obvious innit!

Of course it is not always as easy as that – humans seem to find it very easy to turn things ON but far harder to turn them OFF again when they are not needed – lights being a classic example.

Please turn off lights when they are no longer needed - save electricity

In industry the same can be true.  I helped one of the major oil service companies save a considerable amount of electricity and money by identifying that the 27kW heating element array running their degreasing bath did not need to remain ON 24/7 because when analysed the actual demand profile was only 2 hours a week.  The system was just left ON “in case it was needed” maintaining a large reservoir of hot fluid for no reason at all.

Vending machines – great opportunity to save money – they generally do not need to be ON 24/7 – do they???  Fit a timer.

Hot water boilers in cafes and hotels – often left ON 24/7 – is that necessary?

Immersion tanks – same question – can they be turned off at night?


If you have looked at your electricity bill the picture above will be familiar to you – but you may not understand it.

P272 affects ALL electricity customers in profile Classes 05 – 08.  That is the top row furthest left small box.

If you are in any other profile class you don’t need to worry about P272.

So what is P272.  Simply from April last year (2017) eligible sites will have been moved onto Half Hourly Meter readings – and lumped with a whole bunch of new charges such as DUoS and TUoS.

All of this is very complex but boils down to one thing really – this is an opportunity to review your electricity buying and get onto the best deal possible.

May I take this opportunity to recommend the services of Utilitrack.

Don’t be scared by Half Hourly Data – frankly I think this is great – given that there is no such thing as too much data in my opinion.

Power factor Correction – PFC

Now we get into Power Factor – and as this is a very complex picture that most of you won’t care about I have given this a page unto itself. Fill Yer Boots.

Voltage Optimisation

Hmmmm – well as I have hidden this away at the bottom of this page that just about sums it up.

My opinion – forget it – don’t go there.  I will not promote it on this site.  If your site is big enough to have it’s own transformer then there are things we can do without fancy gizmo’s.