Energy Management for Businesses

Reduce the Demand Charges you see on your Power Bill

Power utilities, such as SaskPower, charge a fee to commercial users for their demand above a certain level, and these fees show up as “demand charges” on your SaskPower bill. Demand charges are measured in kVA (kilovolt amps), and in Saskatchewan, anything over 50 kVA/month is subject to demand charge rates. Power factor correction is a way that many businesses could reduce their demand charges and save money.

Rates as listed on the Saskpower website.

The average payback is 1-3 years for a typical power factor correction investment like this.

inductive load

Too much Apparent Power means a large bill for Demand Charges!

Here are a few technical details for those who are interested. Power demand will be higher than it needs to be when the power factor is less than 1.0, which is the ideal power factor. Inductive loads such as transformers and motors cause the supply current to lag the voltage waveform. A measure of this lag is power factor. The greater the lag, the poorer (lower) the power factor. Power factor can be improved with the addition of power factor correction capacitors in cases where the power factor is lagging (most common).

The farther out of phase the current and voltage waveforms are, the more current it takes to do a given amount of real electrical work. The graphic below is a representation of the Apparent Power (with out of phase current and voltage that reduces the power factor) and Real Power. If the Apparent Power is the same as the Real Power, the power factor would be 1.0.


power factor correction diagram

Apparent Power and Real Power

How Can We Help?

Suncatcher Solar can instrument your electrical service and determine the power factor. If appropriate, we can then design, supply and install power factor correction capacitors to improve a lagging power factor.

Get in touch with us if you think that power factor correction could save you money on your Saskpower bill by reducing your demand charges. We are happy to explain how it all works and how we can help you save money.