Power Factor Correction

Power factor correction equipment can be used to bring low power factor installations closer to a power factor of 1.0.

A Power Factor Correction Unit consists of capacitor banks, which work as silent Non-Working Power 'generators', so that your total electricity demand from the network decreases. The capacitor banks are housed in a metal cabinet, similar to the one that contains your electrical switchboard and are usually located next to it.

If you are paying power factor penalties or surcharges those costs can be eliminated.

The most common technical obstacle to implementing power factor correction is simply a lack of available space in the building switchboard and/or switchroom to install power factor correction equipment.

Important Note

When you install Power Factor Correction notify your network provider and your electricity retailer of the change.

Using Ausgrid (network provider) as an example - the peak demand charge in the Ausgrid network area is applied to the maximum half-hourly kVA reading that occurred at the customer’s connection point over the 12 months prior to a bill being calculated. This means that if that maximum kVA reading was recorded the day before the Power Factor Correction unit was installed, it would take 12 months until you realised the savings from installing a PFC unit.

Therefore it’s important that the network provider is notified immediately following installation of Power Factor Correction so they can ‘reset’ the maximum kVA reading from when the Power Factor Correction unit was installed, shortening the lag effect in the billing to one month.

If you are in the Ausgrid network, use this form. Tick box '3B' and write 'Power Factor Correction installation'. The retailer section should be completed if possible (and preferably signed), and the completed form should be emailed to Ausgrid and the retailer so that both are informed and it brings it to the retailer's attention. Attach evidence of the PFC installation to the form, eg completed Certificate of Compliance - Electrical Work (CCEW) or invoice.

Last Updated: 
Sat 28/11/2015

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