'Why using Smart Isolators is a smart move'


07 September 2023

Following last winter's record-high energy prices and soaring inflation, minimising energy bills is front of mind for many businesses around the UK, says Luke Miller, Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Verv.

Energy monitoring and management is crucial in the fight against these high energy costs; by understanding how much energy your business uses, you can make informed decisions about how to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your utility bills.

Verv offers a clever solution to monitor and manage your energy usage: the Smart Isolator. Our devices provide real-time information about your energy usage of connected appliances, allowing you to track your consumption and identify areas where you can make changes to reduce it. 

Our hardware is a unique retrofit replacement for any appliance that uses an isolator, providing a smart, modern upgrade to legacy switchgear. Once installed, data profiling the electrical harmonics of the equipment is immediately transmitted to Verv’s Cloud Platform, where it is stored, analysed and presented on a mobile app (or web). There, you can explore your energy usage for each appliance from the point at which it was on-boarded in the app, identify periods of low efficiency, and set up automatic scheduling for turning appliances off… ideal if your business has periods of low demand (such as overnight closure).

Annually, almost 40 billion kWh[1] of electrical energy* is used nationally by businesses on heating, cooling and humidification, a figure that is set to grow in the future as we deploy more low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps. So it will come as no surprise that many of our customers have attached their Verv Smart Isolators to air conditioning systems.

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However, our hardware is compatible with most commercial equipment including coolers/fridges, dishwashers, air handling units, EV chargers, electrostatic precipitators, and so on. In fact, over 10 billion kWh[2] are used per year on electrically-cooled storage alone in England and Wales, accounting for 12.7% of the total electricity used in business (excluding industrial processes). As we look to grow our business in new ways, we are actively engaging with potential customers who would benefit from optimising their energy usage on the storage of non-perishable goods, for example.

The platform is also API enabled, allowing data to be accessed and integrated with Net Zero or carbon tracking reporting tools for further optimisation. This means that users can make data-informed decisions for optimising their air conditioning usage across buildings, measure their return on investment and take active steps to reach their Net Zero goals.

What is clear from our market research is that many businesses are suffering with devices that use a lot of energy day and night, even on standby, with no practical method to manage that problem that is now costing them a hefty sum. At Verv, we strive to cater for these needs directly by providing an energy monitoring and management device that enables businesses to reduce their bills and, simultaneously, their carbon footprint.

* Excludes non-electrical sources such as direct gas burning for heating.
[1] Business Energy Statistical Summary (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
[2] Building Energy Efficiency Survey, Overarching Report (BEES, 2016)