Just purchased a Kill-a-watt meter. It has a PF setting. What do the energy providers do to combat low PF?

The unit is capable of measuring the power factor of the load under test.

I run my PC thru a UPS and the measured PF of this setup is 0.50

Thus this mean that the power utility is only charging me for half of the actual energy usage?

I am being told that the electric meter will only register loads that are in-phase.

link to kill-a-watt


6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Very few USA residential customers' bills include any charge for power factor, regardless of how low (less than 1.00) their power factor is. this is usually a charge to commercial or industrial classes of consumers. While some household appliances such as an aircon, 'fridge, washing machine, flourescent lights, (and, yeah, a ups) have "poor" power factors, the average for the whole service is generally about 0.8 or 0.75. However, to supply a power factor less than 1.00 requires a greater current by approx. 1/PF. This additional current causes increased wattage (which you are charged for) losses in the wiring, and the increase is by the square of the increases current level. So, you do pay extra for a low power factor. Utilities will add capacitor banks in their systems to improve the system power factor. Customers-not the utility-will add cap banks at their service entrance or at the "offending" appliance (usually a motor) to "correct" their power factor to 1.00 or near 1.00 to avoid power factor charges.

  • 1 decade ago

    Above answer is correct. The digital meters check the PF automatically and dont even have to be read by a meter man. The low PF does not cost you less but just disrupts quality of the power altogether. Power companies have been charging for poor PF on commercial customers for years and years. You can solve this by installing capacitor banks. Your overall PF for your home is not as poor as 0.50 anyway.

  • 1 decade ago

    Low PF might actually end up costing you far more when its low, than when its close to 1. My power company does demand-rate billing, and charges me about 3-4 different rates for one day, and includes a charge for the power-factor. When they start changing over to the digital metering system this year, they check every 5 minutes. It varies between power companies, but one thing is certain: You arn't getting anything free out of having a low PF.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I should be envious if your power co. is only charging you half of your used energy. Ordinarily, incorrect PFs are corrected by the power provider after a load survey specially with big consumers like factories. In fact, even without a load survey, power providers recalibrates energy meters to their own standard (nevermind the meter manufacturer's or the consumer's).

    Source(s): Alternating current
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  • 3 years ago

    Convert into Kilojoules it somewhat is a unit of means.Then look on the heating consequence of an electric contemporary. Then utilising trouble-free formulae connect and there you have resultant. J=Wx...to commence!

  • zephir
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    i thought you misspelled kilowatt.

    did you check the manual and look for support from the company that makes the kill a watt meter?

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