Innovations can provide a more sustainable and profitable future

2 mins read

By Dominic Miller, technical director, QUEST Electrical.


UK businesses have long been aware of their responsibilities to reduce their carbon footprint, but the volatility of energy prices has brought this into even sharper focus.

While manufacturers may be unable to affect other pressures such as inflation and higher interest rates, there are steps that they can take to mitigate price fluctuations in energy and reduce their carbon emissions at the same time.

One of those steps - and one that is often overlooked - is power factor correction. This involves reducing reactive power consumption to increase your energy efficiency and could mean a significant saving for a business.

Poor power factor is particularly problematic for industrial and manufacturing businesses and is often caused by equipment that uses large amounts of reactive power such as motors or transformers.

This problem can deteriorate further if the equipment is not fit for purpose or is being used inefficiently - such as a part-loaded motor. A fully loaded motor will operate at a much better power factor.

Another simple, but effective way to cut your carbon emissions is by regulating the voltage on site to reduce impact on the National Grid.

This is done through voltage optimisation. Voltage optimisation is an energy saving process used to regulate the incoming power supply from your local electricity grid using smart technology in the electrical equipment and appliances at your business.

The installation of a voltage optimiser reduces the voltage supplied to the optimum level which, in turn, reduces electricity usage and carbon emissions.

This installation is a quick and easy process which could see savings in a very short period of time with a minimal investment.

A recent client of QUEST Electrical is a technology distributor and service provider with a 550 sq ft footprint and four tiers of mezzanine. After working with QUEST,  the client was able to reduce its carbon footprint by more than two thirds. Carbon emissions dropped from 784 kg to 272 kg - saving the equivalent of the carbon output of 92 homes.

They were also able to reduce their annual electricity costs by nearly £120,000 with a predicted lifetime savings of £683,000. This meant that the work done by QUEST paid for itself in less than nine months.

Contractors should also able to help with the more well-known energy saving measures such as solar energy, LED lighting and commercial EV charging points.

If your business spends more than £1,000 a month on electricity bills, then a solar energy system will work for you and, once installed, solar panels require very little maintenance.

Backed by a 25-year warranty, a solar energy system delivers a highly dependable long-term performance, providing no electricity cost for your business and a substantial cost saving to your company as a result.  

Installing LED lamps as your primary source of lighting is one of the easiest and most effective methods to reduce your impact on the environment. LEDs have a 90% reduction in energy consumption when compared to incandescent bulbs.

Installing EV Charge Points at your business provides a place for your employees to charge their vehicles, and with the commute to work accounting for 25% of transport emissions and five per cent of total emissions, this is a great way to encourage those who can reduce that statistic.

UK businesses, particularly manufacturers, can prioritise efforts to reduce their carbon footprint through straightforward energy efficiency measures which will mitigate environmental impact and achieve substantial cost savings.

To learn more about reducing carbon emissions and saving money, see