Power Factor Correction Free Electrical Bill Analysis
What is Power Factor Correction?
It's a good question and for most people one only really needs to know what it can do for you. Briefly, loads such as motors (compressors, lifts,refrigeration, conveyors), other inductive loads and some lighting in commercial and industrial premises use both active (kW) and reactive (kVAR), also known as 'Wattless' power. You are charged for the units used in kilowatt hours (kWHrs), so if you use a piece of equipment rated at 1kW for 1 hour you clock up 1 kWHr. This is fine for the energy suppliers if the equipment uses only active power such as a heating element. However, the suppliers have to allow for both kW and kVAR. This overall supply is measured in kVA. At present in Ireland, to simplify things, the suppliers allow you to use a certain percentage of reactive units without charge. If these units exceed 1/3 of the kWHrs you will see a 'low power factor surcharge' line on you bill.
To counteract the kVAR a well trusted method is to introduce capacitance into the system, this is achieved with a power factor correction panel. As loads in premises are intermittent the panel measures the system and only adds capacitance when required. This will eliminate the surcharge.
A very important point!
When the suppliers are trying to get your business they will haggle over the unit cost, this is of course important but the difference in unit costs between all the suppliers are minimal. It is crucial to look at your complete bill
In a lot of cases the Maximum Import Capacity (MIC) is not suitable for the premises, it is up to you to decide on the correct capacity. It is not in the best interest of the suppliers for you to have this correct. They are in a no lose situation, if MIC is to high you are paying to much for the capacity, each kVA cost approx €30 per year (DG6 bill). For example, if your capacity is 300kVA and the max ever used was 200 kVA, you will be giving away €3000 each year. If it is too low and you exceed the kVA heavy penalties occur in the form of 'Excess Capacity Surcharge'
This again is where Power Factor Correction reduces costs. If you remember we explained that there are two types of energy, kW and kVAR. The capacity charge is measured in kVA, so it takes into account both types. If you eliminate the kVAR the required kVA is reduced. The PSO levy is also calculated in kVA.
You may not see all the charges on a DG5 bill but the costs are hidden in the unit cost. We can tell if you are on the correct tariff. This advice is completely impartial.
To conclude if you have any excess charges on your bill please give us a call.
In any case, send copies of your highest recent bills or give us a call and we will tell you what you need to do for free.
Mark 086 8210067, firstname.lastname@example.org
Panel Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Contractors.