Studies have shown that customers routinely receive, on average, 2 to 3 percent higher voltage than they need.
Many appliances work just as effectively – yet consume less energy – with a reduced flow of electricity. Higher voltages generally make us waste energy, driving up electricity bills and air pollution.
If your home received the proper voltage for your energy-use needs, you would have enough power to run your appliances efficiently, without wasting electricity. That’s “voltage optimization.” Electric utilities can install technology, including sensors, to help match customers’ precise energy needs and adjust accordingly.
There are pilot programs across the country, and a few utilities have fully adopted the practice. It’s one example of how modern, cost-effective technologies are giving utilities new tools to cut costs and pollution without asking anything of its customers.
A utility worker maintains a substation, one place emerging technology can tailor voltage to customer needs.