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How to find out how much power your business needs

There are lots of details to consider when you start a business, change activities or add new equipment. One of them is electrical power. We give you the keys.

The electrical power of a contract refers to the number of kilowatts (kW) that can be drawn simultaneously from your business’s electrical grid.

You should keep in mind that the higher the power, the more equipment you can run at the same time, but you will also pay more.

That is why it is key that you contract the right amount of electrical power you need for your business. No more, no less.

 

The problem of not having enough power

If you contract less power than you really need, the circuit breaker will be activated, that is, the fuses will blow, cutting the electricity supply every time you consume more than the amount of power contracted.

In other words: if you have multiple pieces of equipment connected at the same time, the circuit breaker may be activated. This is certainly not functional, and it is annoying as well as inefficient.

However, if your supply is connected in low voltage but the power is greater than 15 kW, there is a maximeter instead of a circuit breaker (see below).

“A power outage exposes you to an uncomfortable situation, with possible interruptions in supply.”

The problem of having too much power

As previously mentioned, contracting more power than necessary guarantees that you can have multiple pieces of equipment switched on at the same time without problems.

However, there is a higher bill as the power is a fixed cost in your bill. You can control your consumption perfectly, but once the power has been contracted that price will be fixed.

However, if your supply is connected in low voltage but the power is greater than 15 kW, there is a maximeter instead of a circuit breaker (see below).

 

How do you know what the right amount of power is?

The process is simple. It consists of aggregating the power requirements of the equipment that will be operating in your business, and estimating which appliances need to be switched on simultaneously.

You can find data on the power required by each device in its technical documentation, as well as on the manufacturer’s website.

For example, heating and air conditioning will not have to operate at the same time.

Please note any power peaks that may occur: those times when the maximum number of devices will be operating at the same time.

You will also need to check whether you have a single-phase or three-phase installation.

I already know how much power I need. What paperwork do I need to complete?

The basic document to consult is the Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).

An authorised electrical installer is required in the following cases who, after carrying out an inspection, will issue a new certificate:

  • The site is a new construction.
  • Certificate more than 20 years old.
  • Lost certificate.
  • To change the electrical power.
  • To switch to a monophasic or triphasic installation.

After you receive your certificate, contact your supplier, who will inform the supply company that it will be responsible for carrying out the change.

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“The electrical certificate, or EIC, is the essential document for making changes to the electrical power in your business.”

My business requires a great deal of power. What should I do?

And here we come to cases involving low-voltage supplies that require more than 15 kW of power.

Some types of businesses and certain activities they carry out require more than 15 kW of power or for which the circuit breaker can’t be thrown, interrupting the power supply.

In these cases a maximeter is substituted for the circuit breaker. If you would like to have a maximeter installed, contact your supplier, who will contact the distributor.

The maximeter measures the demanded power over 15-minute periods, comparing it with the contracted power. A penalty is applied if the power is exceeded. In the opposite scenario (power demanded is less than the amount contracted), a rebate is issued.

Depending on the requirements of your business, there are contracts with different hourly periods, different amounts of contracted power per hour, and different term prices for contracted power.

Here’s a data point that makes clear how important it is to optimise your power: 42% of all contracts with a 3.0A tariff access do not have their power correctly optimised. Optimising your power can save you up to €1,000 per year.

Call Company Service now: 800 760 266

We will carry out a personalised study of your conditions (both power and product).

“Optimising your power can mean savings of €1,000 per year.”
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