What is Power Factor:
Power Factor (PF) is another measurement of how efficiently electricity is used in a building. Utilities are moving to a pricing structure that intends to “punish” clients with poor or below average Power Factor (PF) and Load Factor (demand) measurements.
In the simplest of terms, power factor is a measure of how effectively electric power is consumed at commercial and industrial facilities. Greater amounts of power that is wasted results in a low power factor. Customers who have a low power factor draw more electric current over an interval of time and have a higher cost to serve. A low power factor results in greater system losses, and requires the utility to install or purchase additional capacity.
Austin Energy started to report Power Factor on utility invoices as of October of 2011. As part of the Austin Energy rate restructuring approved June 2012 by the City of Austin, the Power Factor Adjustment was increased from 85% to 90% (.85 to .90). Customers with a Power Factor 90% and above are not charged a power factor adjustment.
Austin Energy’s Powersaver™ program currently offers lightning retrofit, motor and variable frequency drive rebates that increase energy efficiency and may help increase power factor.