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chroot
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#6
Mar31-05, 12:56 AM
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Power companies typically charge residential customers without regard to the power factor (the meter is not sophisticated enough to consider the power factor). If you shift your power factor so your load is more reactive and less resistive, your meter will record less current and you will be charged a smaller sum. It's correct. If your power factor is -really- wonky, though, the power company might eventually notice. Reactive loads still cause currents in their transmission lines, and they still lose energy in the heating of those lines.

Large industrial centers have large inductive loads (i.e. motors), and the power company -does- charge them in consideration of their power factor. As a result, these businesses add capacitor farms to their mains to put their power factor back close to one.

- Warren