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What Are Power Factor Charges?

  • May 15, 2018

What Are Power Factor Charges?

Industrial or Commercial premises may be subject to Power Factor Charges in their electricity bills.

Utility companies like Ergon explain the use of Power Factor Charges

"For our largest business customers, kVA demand tariffs have been gradually introduced since 1 July 2014, and from 1 July 2015 we introduced a supplementary charge for the excess 'reactive power' demand, known as an excess kVAr charge.

"One of the main reasons kVA demand tariffs are being introduced is to encourage customers to improve their power factor. A poor power factor places higher demands on the electricity network. There are benefits for customers and our network when power factor is improved."

Ergon website

Power Factor charges can be described as wasted electricity or electricty available for a sudden surge.

Power Factor Calculation

Power Factor (PF) = Working Power (KW) (over) Total Power (KVA)

So what is the difference in Working Power to Total Power?

The difference between Working Power to Total Power is called Reactive Power.
Reactive Power is the non working power delivered to a facility - you pay for this.

Why would a business have non working power?

- oversized Motors eg when a large engine is idling

Your utility company may bury charges for non working power in the bill.

Installing Power Factor Correction Capacitors are temporary storage units that can supply Reactive Power to your machinery instead of recieving it from the utility company.

Kw and Kvar come from the utility - however when a capacitor is installed it replaces the Reactive Power supplied by the facility.
Hence this reduces the total power KVA delivered to your premises - hence reducing costs.

How do you know if you could benefit from Power Factor Correction Capacitors in your business?

You need to contact a commercial electrical company.

Toby of Serene Electrical specialises in Commercial Electrical Gold Coast.

Domestic electricians are those who work on electrical systems and appliances in a home or residential setting - Commercial or Industrial Elctricians can work on small, medium and large jobs like -:

  • hospitals
  • shops
  • stores
  • shopping centres
  • schools

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