**Power Factor Correction**

The power factor of a building is an item which is often overlooked when it comes to energy efficiency.

Power Factor is a measure of how efficiently electrical power is consumed. In the ideal world Power Factor would be unity (or 1). Unfortunately in the real world Power Factor is reduced by highly inductive loads to 0.7 or less. This induction is caused by equipment such as lightly loaded electric motors, luminaire transformers and fluorescent lighting ballasts.

Increasing a site’s power factor can be thought of as increasing the efficiency of electrical equipment and will therefore have a direct correlation with reducing electricity consumption and therefore its cost. Not all Distributors charge for excessive reactive power.

Power factor is an important aspect as utility companies supply customers with Volt Amps, but bill them for Watts. Power factors below 1 require the utility to generate more than the minimum volt amperes necessary to supply the load.

In simple terms, a power factor of 0.7 would mean the apparent power being 1.4 times the real power used by the load. The net result of this is wasted electricity as well as paying the utility company for a higher maximum demand than that required.

Power Factor Correction is therefore an essential part of the electrical infrastructure.