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Old 09-05-2008, 08:20 PM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Larimer County
Posts: 8,466

Electrically a kvar is (k)ilo (v)oltage-(a)mp (r)eactive. You are sold electricity based on VA (or really watts), which is the combined complex power. The total watts and var of an alternating source will be the total complex VA delivered. But the power company will try and make as much of the total power equal the real power, since that's what your meter runs on. When you hear people talk about adding capacitance or having heavily inductive loads, the complex part of reactive components is essentially free energy. So they will add caps to users who are running lots of motors, for example. In this case, the unit is probably caps that will make your house load more reactive, which will reduce your bill. It will not reduce your actual load (your energy use will go up slightly), though. When (maybe if) Public Service figures it out they will put inductance or capacitance on your service to correct for the non-metered apparent (reactive) power. They want a power factor as close to 1 as possible because any reactive power in the system makes their efficiency go down. Whether or not they notice on your service, hard to say, but probably not. But at the same time to justify the cost you will have to really screw up the power factor and they will likely eventually notice when you go down 50% in usage.
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