Power factor correction

What is power factor and how is it measured?

Power factor is the measure of how effectively your business uses its electricity supply. It is the ratio of real power (kW) to apparant power (kVA). A site with low power factor draws more apparant power than real power.

    Real Power (kW) 
Power Factor =   ————————————
               Apparant Power (kVA) 

- Real Power (kW) is the amount of power which is actually used to power equipment 

- Apparant Power (kVA) is the total amount of power that is supplied by Ausgrid to the site
- Reactive Power (kVAr) is the amount of power that does not perform any real work, but comes about as a result of your voltage (supplied) and the current (drawn by equipment on your site), being out of phase. The larger this difference, the lower the power factor. More more detailled explanation refer to our Why Correct Power Factor.

Low power factor is like buying a frothy cappucino. You pay for the whole cup, that is the coffee and the froth (apparant power). The more froth you have, the less real coffee there is and you are paying for more than you actually drink.


So if your power factor is low you may be paying more than you need to for your electricity
.

It is a mandatory user obligation under the Services and Installations Rule of NSW (section 1.10.11) that customers maintain a power factor of 0.9 or above.

Find out more on how Power Factor Correction can help reduce your electricity charges by reading our frequently asked questions. If you need help with correcting power factor, refer to our Power Factor Correction Service Provider Register for a service provider.