Now that you have a smart meter, you’ll have access to a lot more data about how you use power. Some of the data you’ll see is of greater interest to a large business than it would be to you at home.
Watch the video below for an overview of the data your smart meter supplies in your MySaskPower account.
What is Demand (kVA)?
Your power demand measures how much power you use over a period of time. It’s measured in kilovolt-amperes, or kVA. We use this measurement to bill customers who use significant power, usually in commercial and industrial settings. We don’t charge residential customers demand.
The faster you use power, the higher your demand is.
Think of power demand like using sprinklers to water your lawn. The more sprinklers you turn on at the same time, the more water you need supplied to your property.
Watering your lawn in stages will help keep your demand lower than turning all your sprinklers on at once. You’ll still use the same amount of water, but not at the same time.
What is Peak Demand?
Peak demand is the highest recorded power demand you use over a certain period of time.
Smart meters calculate peak demand every 15 minutes. Each day we compare your highest demand with every other day in your billing cycle.
We then use the highest demand you’ve used during your billing cycle in calculating your bill.
For example, the customer in the chart below has a peak demand value of 6 kVA.
How Can I Reduce My Peak Demand?
Reducing your peak demand can help lower your power bill. You can do this in 2 ways.
- Operate equipment at different times instead of running everything at once.
- Replace older equipment with energy efficient models. This will help lower your total power use. This is also good for businesses who might not have the option of changing their operating times.
What is Power Factor?
Power factor measures how efficiently your equipment is using power. Two pieces of equipment might be able to do the same job, but some can do it more efficiently.
A higher power factor number means you have efficient equipment. Essentially you want to be as close as 1 as possible. Because there’s no perfect equipment, you’ll never get to 1. That’s why the average acceptable power factor is 0.8.
Improving your power factor will not only lower your bill. It can improve the lifespan of your equipment. And it can cause less demand for SaskPower’s grid overall!