kVA tariffs have been introduced to encourage our customers to take steps to improve their energy efficiency, reduce the overall impact on the electricity network and to reduce the cost of electricity, often referred to as the Power Factor.
How to calculate the Power Factor
Power factor is the relationship between 'real power' and 'apparent power'. Apparent power is your total usage, made up of real power (which is the part that does the work) and reactive power (which is required by AC systems to operate). Reactive power contributes to your electricity bill but is not actually used.
Curious to know more?
Frequently asked questions
Who needs to know about the introduction of kVA tariffs?
Customers with a digital meter who are currently on tariffs 44, 45, 46, or those customers who may be moving to tariffs 44, 45, 46 in the future – either due to moving premises or who are a Standard Asset Connection (SAC) Large digital meter customer on an expiring, obsolete tariff (mainly T20L, 22L, 37, 62, 65 & 66).
How do I know if I’m a SAC Large Customer?
The bottom right hand section of your bill (page 1) displays the classification of your site. Most customers are either SAC (small) or SAC (large) customers.
How do I know if I have a digital meter?
On page 2 of your bill, if your ‘’previous reading’’ is zero, then you have a digital meter. Digital meter reads are reset to zero after each bill is issued.
What is kW?
kW is also called real power. A kilowatt (kW) is 1000 watts. Electrical power is measured in watts (W). In a unity power system (where the Power Factor is 1), the wattage is equal to the voltage multiplied by the current.
What is kVA?
- kVA is kilo-volt-ampere. kVA is a unit of apparent power, which is an electrical power unit
- 1 kilo-volt-ampere is equal to 1000 volt-ampere: 1kVA = 1000VA.
What is the difference between kW and kVA?
kW = is known as ‘real power’. This is the measure/unit of electric power:
- Often seen on specification plates of appliances
- Light bulbs, for example are measured in Watts (e.g. 20W or 100W light bulb).
kVA = is known as the ‘apparent power’ of a particular electrical circuit or electrical system:
A kilovolt-ampere (kVA) is 1000 volt-amperes. This is a measure of apparent power flow, a measure of the total capacity required to supply a customer’s load. Apparent power is a measure of the current and voltage and will differ from real power when the current and voltage are not in phase.
Why do I have to change to a kVA tariff?
Customers who have a higher power factor will benefit from a lower cost under the kVA tariff as their operation runs more efficiently. The kVA tariff will assist customers to reduce their bills by helping them to identify where their power factor is low (and hence inefficient), and allow them to develop options to increase their efficiency (reducing their bills).
Do I get charged for both kW & kVA demand?
No, you will only be charged depending on which tariff you are on.
How does the kVA tariff work/how will I be billed?
Please visit Ergon Network's kVA Demand Tariffs webpage for further information.
Do I get a choice to stay on a kW demand tariff instead of a kVA demand tariff?
All sites with a digital meter at 30 June 2020 will have a 12-month grace period, after which they will move from kW to kVA tariffs.
All new connections will have a digital meter and then they will move to kVA tariffs from 1 July 2021.
Customers upgrading to a digital meter can retain their existing tariff and will move to kVA tariffs from 1 July 2021; as per regulations set by the Department of Natural Mines and Energy (DNRME) and the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).
How do I find what my Power Factor (PF) is?
- Log into Energy Analysis (EA): You can see the maximum demand in kW and kVA
- Divide kW by kVA for that month, and this will give your PF for that month.
How does a PF correction work?
Power factor can be improved by installing PFC equipment called capacitor banks. Capacitor banks work to correct energy supply inefficiencies, while also reducing peak demand on the electricity network. PFC equipment is readily available and may be a cheaper solution than upgrading electrical equipment.
How do I see this information in Energy Analysis (EA)?
Log into My Account and click on the Energy Analysis tile to get started.
Then select Power Factor in the navigation menu
Want to learn more?
These tutorials will take you through a step-by-step view on how to get the most from Energy Analysis.
I don’t have a digital meter now, will I get one in the future?
If your meter is at the end of its useful life, it may be replaced by a digital meter. If your meter is not compatible for your future requirements, for example you’re installing solar; or you’re changing to a new tariff, then your meter may be replaced by a digital meter.
More information on Power Factor corrections and suppliers
A list of suppliers is located on the Energex Power Factor Correction webpage.