What is the difference between UK voltage and European voltage

The voltage used throughout Europe (including the UK) has been harmonised since January 2003 at a nominal 230v 50 Hz (formerly 240V in UK, 220V in the rest of Europe) but this does not mean there has been a real change in the supply.

Instead, the new “harmonised voltage limits” in most of Europe (the former 220V nominal countries) are now:

230V -10% +6% (i.e. 207.0 V-243.8 V)

In the UK (former 240V nominal) they are:

230V -6% +10% (i.e. 216.2 V – 253.0 V)

This effectively means there is no real change of supply voltage, only a change in the “label”, with no incentive for electricity supply companies to actually change the supply voltage.

To cope with both sets of limits all modern equipment will therefore be able to accept 230V +/-10% i.e. 207-253V.

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