Guide to Power Factor Correction Assessment

Ever speculate that your company is paying more for electricity than it should? You might be right! A likely culprit behind an inflated energy bill may be a low power factor. Most don’t know, but there may be a tool at your disposal to do something about it called power factor correction (PFC).

In this article, I’ll delve into how Energy Efficiency Group makes an assessment as to whether your organization’s facility, or facilities, can benefit from this type improvement. 

(quickly) What is Power Factor and Why Does It Matter?

Imagine electricity as a highway. You pay a toll based on the width of the lane your equipment occupies (apparent power). Ideally, you only use the space required for your actual power needs (real power). But, inductive loads like motors and transformers create a gap between these two values, resulting in a lower power factor (think of it as wasted highway space).

A low power factor translates to:

    • Higher electricity bills
    • Increased strain on utility grids
    • Potential for overheating in electrical components

The Power Factor Correction Assessment Procedure

Here’s a step-by-step approach to how Energy Efficiency Group assesses the need for PFC:

    • Data Collection:
      • Non-Invasive Step #1)- review a couple of recent Energy Company billing statements. Most times, though depending on the jurisdiction, the Utility will identify a Power Factor number right on the bill.  That’s an easy first step, and is an easy indicator if another step needs to be taken. A review of the bill will also indicate whether you are paying (and how much) a Power Factor Penalty* (- it is usually not a line item in the bill, but included in other fees).
      • Gather information about your facility’s electrical system, including equipment types and sizes.
    • Power Factor Measurement:
      • Energy Efficiency Group will come on-site and use a power factor meter or data logger to measure real, reactive, and apparent power at strategic points in your electrical system.
      • Analyze the measurements to determine your average power factor. These numbers will vary depending on the type and location of the equipment. Some will be high, others low- the number established on the bill by the Utility Company is an average.
    • Cost Analysis:
      • Calculate the potential cost savings from PFC based on your measured power factor and utility penalty structure.
      • Factor in the cost of PFC equipment and installation, and determine time needed to achieve ROI.


Let’s Talk Money:

A power factor correction assessment is a worthwhile investment. By identifying areas for improvement, you can potentially:

    • Reduce your electricity bills significantly.
    • Improve the efficiency of your electrical system.
    • Extend the lifespan of your electrical equipment.


Taking Action

If you suspect a low power factor might be an issue, don’t hesitate!  Contact Energy Efficiency Group to begin the conversation. 


About Energy Efficiency Group:
Energy Efficiency Group is a Power Factor Correction company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Though we are based in Cincinnati, we have a national (and limited international) reach. We partner with manufacturing, industrial, warehouse, offices, schools, processing facilities, as well as hotels, resorts, theme parks, zoos, etc. Any facility with that features “a lot of moving parts” is a potential candidate to focus on sustainability efforts.  Even if your facility installed 100% energy efficient components- most of these are not manufactured by the same companies and not designed to “work together.” Meanwhile, they may be energy efficient on their own, as a whole they may be working against each other causing inefficiencies. Energy Efficiency Group is partnered with Indianapolis-based Global Energy Solutions Group (GESG) which holds multiple US patents on Power Factor Correction equipment. 

Leave A Comment

Create your account