Power factor calculations will be used in 2022

Power factor calculations

March 2021

The basics:

  • Power factor was printed on the 2020 fall irrigation energy billing.

  • The goal is a power factor between 90 – 100%.

  • Use a capacitor or a programmed VFD to achieve goal.

  • Power factor correction is the customer’s choice. Install correction devices or be billed on the calculated horsepower.

  • There may not be financial incentive to correct smaller horsepower systems with a power factor close to 90%.

When Dawson PPD upgraded electric meters, more information became available. Part of that information led to the ability to calculate the power factor of each irrigation service on the District’s lines.

“It isn’t a new charge,” explains Cole Brodine, Manager of Engineering. “We’re using our technology to measure the power factor and assign costs accordingly.”

The power factor adjustment takes the place of a capacitor charge assigned to services over 10 horsepower that do not have a capacitor or VFD installed. The capacitor charge has been in place since the 1970s.

The 2020 energy bill displayed the power factor reading for each irrigation service. The 2021 power factor will print on the energy bill in the fall. A power factor below 90% will result in a higher calculated horsepower, used for the 2022 billing.

Dawson PPD posted a calculator at dawsonpower.com/calculator to help customers know what kind of effect their readings may have on future billings. The District also hosted an online meeting for irrigation technicians and an online meeting for customers.


What our customers say

An informed customer is our greatest asset.