30.03.2017 | These technical innovations benefit everyone

Full of efficient energy

Helping customers save energy and, at the same time, doing successful business. The Axpo subsidiary CKW shows how it’s done with smart technology. Energy efficiency is gradually becoming a part of Axpo’s day-to-day business in various European countries as well.

Energy efficiency is one of the catchwords in the current energy debate around renewable and "green energy". For the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), energy efficiency is “the most effective instrument to reduce energy consumption". Higher energy efficiency – without restricting use – has three main advantages: "The improvement of economic efficiency, the decrease of energy shortages, as well as the reduction of energy consumption associated with greenhouse gas emissions. The trend toward reducing energy consumption through improved energy efficiency makes it likely that the major portion of Swiss energy consumption will be covered by renewable energies in the future", assesses the SFOE.

Fair enough. Energy efficiency saves electricity and costs for customers. But how does it benefit power producers. The Axpo subsidiary CKW shows how it’s done. With its "CKW VoltControl" innovation, the company not only makes customers happy, it also does successful business.

Savings averaging 15 per cent

How is that done? It's very simple. The power grid normally experiences voltage fluctuations from 207 to 253 volts. Although these fluctuations do not have an impact on the functioning of electrical devices or light bulbs, they do influence electricity consumption and the electricity bill.

The CKW VoltControl voltage regulator stabilises these electric voltage fluctuations through a patented electro-magnetic counter-induction to 210 volts (see video). That saves electricity and costs – without a loss in comfort.

For customers, such as hotels, car parks, school buildings or supermarkets, the advantages of VoltControl are obvious: Average power savings of 15 per cent, longer service life of electric devices thanks to less warming, and an investment that can be amortised within two to three years. Here is the link to the VoltControl Power Check: https://powercheck.ckw.ch/ckw/#/welcome

Positive feedback

The positive feedback from customers confirms the benefits of the system: „Measurements showed that we could achieve electricity savings of 20.5 per cent. In fact: We consume 200,000 kWh less electricity per year – without any loss in comfort", says Andrés Oppenheim, Managing Director of the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic in Montreux.

The system is also working well at Axpo headquarters in Baden. The voltage limiter installed in Building C resulted in an electricity cost reduction amounting to 13 per cent.

A topic at Axpo

Axpo is also working on this innovative topic. For example, a Trading & Sales/CKW task force that meets in bi-annual workshops to discuss energy efficiency has been established. For CKW as a supplier, energy efficiency is naturally an important topic, but our European hubs are also diligently working on expanding their activities in this area.

The first offerings in the area of energy efficiency are already in place. VoltControl will also have potential on the Northern European markets (Finland and Sweden) or in Germany, and pilot projects are underway.

Active Italy

Axpo Italy has taken up the topic of energy efficiency (see photo). It now offers various services such as efficiency monitoring, energy audits to identify savings potential, or a service called „Track and Target" that constantly monitors the customer’s energy consumption in order to improve efficiency.

Axpo Italy's offering includes a broad range of technical systems and devices that can be leased to the customer along with the corresponding services, for example, in the area of heat cogeneration for heat and cooling plants, for photovoltaic systems, for recharging electric vehicles or for energy saving light bulbs.

Over 40 different projects have been realised in the last two years, for example, in the offices and branches of a car dealer in Genoa and Liguria. Some 950 different light fixtures and lamps were replaced, which resulted in reduced electricity consumption and savings of 20,000 euros per year.

Axpo Spain (Iberia) is also working on energy efficiency. In 2106, a project was launched in the area of thermal solar plants. The business goal with these additional services is to strengthen energy and gas customer loyalty.

Saving electricity at home

You can also be more energy efficient at home. The Axpo subsidiary CKW can show you how. See for yourself: https://www.ckw.ch/ueberckw/energieeffizienz/sparen-pk.html

Or let little Isabelle tell you exactly how easy it is to save electricity: https://www.ckw.ch/ueberckw/energieeffizienz/sparen-pk/blickwinkel/isabella.html

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