Explained: kVah billing

The degree to which the voltage, frequency, and waveform of a power supply system conform to specified requirements is referred to as electric power quality. A stable supply voltage that stays within the prescribed range, a steady a.c. frequency that is close to the rated value, and a smooth voltage curve waveform are all indicators of good power quality (resembles a sine wave). In general, power quality can be defined as the compatibility between what comes out of an electrical outlet and the load that is put into it. The phrase refers to the electric power that powers an electrical load as well as the load's ability to perform effectively. An electrical equipment (or load) may malfunction, fail prematurely, or not perform at all if not supplied with adequate power. There are numerous ways in which electric power might be of poor quality, as well as numerous causes of such power.

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Frequently Asked Questions about kVAh Billing (FAQs)

1. What exactly is kVAh billing?

a. Electrical energy is divided into two components: active energy (kWh) and reactive energy (kVArh). Apparent Energy is the vector sum of these two components and is measured in kVAh. b. In kVAh billing, fixed/demand charges on apparent power (kVA) and energy costs on apparent energy are applied (kVAh). In the future, energy costs will be levied based on apparent energy consumption (kVAh), eliminating the need to charge active and reactive energy separately.

2. What is the difference between Active, Reactive, and Apparent Power, as well as Power Factor?

Normal electrical power consists of two components: active power (P) and reactive power (R) (Q).

a. Active or real power (P) is really consumed and turned into usable work for the creation of heat, light, and motion, and is measured in (kW) and totalized by the energy metre as kWh.

b. The reactive power (Q) is obtained from the grid and used to provide the electromagnetic field in inductive equipment. In the event of an excessive capacitive load, the consumer also supplies reactive power to the grid. It is measured in kVAr (Lag / Lead) and totalized as kVArh (Lag / Lead) using the energy metre.

c. Apparent Power (S) in kVA is the product of voltage and current Root Mean Square (RMS) values. The apparent power is the vector sum of active and reactive power.

d. The power factor is the ratio of active power to apparent power.

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3. What is the current method of billing?

a. Currently, consumers are invoiced on Active Energy Consumption in kWh, in addition to fixed costs and additional expenses. When kWh usage is multiplied by the applicable tariff for the consumer, energy charges are calculated. The effect of reactive energy is taken into account via the Power Factor penalty / incentive mechanism. Consumers are penalised if their Power Factor (PF) is less than 0.90 (for both Lead and Lag PF), and they are rewarded if their P.F. is more than 0.95 (for both Lead and Lag PF).

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4. Why is kVAh billing required?

a. Both active (kWh) and reactive (kVArh) energy are utilised at the same time. Reactive Energy (kVArh) consumes electricity network capacity and affects the system's useful capacity for generation and distribution; thus, its consumption must also be paid. The PF incentive/penalty mechanism is connected with kWh-based billing.

Given that kVAh-based billing contains an inbuilt incentive/penalty mechanism and that a separate method for the same is no longer required, billing of kVAh energy is favoured as a commercial enticement rather than billing two energies separately.

5. When will kVAh billing be into effect?

a. According to MERC Order in Case No. 195 of 2017 dated September 12, 2018, the Commission wants to impose kVAh billing for all HT and LT consumers with loads greater than 20 kW beginning April 1, 2020.

6. How is kVAh billing different from traditional invoicing, and what are the advantages?

a. kVAh billing includes a mechanism that incentivizes or penalises consumers based on their power factor. The Prime Minister The goal of kVAh-based billing is to encourage consumers to maintain near-unity power factor in order to reduce losses, enhance system stability, power quality, and voltage profile. Energy conservation, energy efficiency, and demand side management (DSM) are being prioritised at the national level to optimise energy usage. Consumers will be encouraged to participate in energy efficiency programmes and will benefit from lower electricity bills as a result of kVAh billing.

7. Could you perhaps explain more about reactive power and its implications on the system?

a. Electrical energy cannot be directly transformed into productive work in the case of inductive loads such as motors (rotation of motor shaft in this particular case).

This is due to the fact that in order to transform electrical energy into rotational energy, a magnetic field must be formed between the gaps of the stator and rotor of the motor. As a result, some energy must be expended in order to generate a magnetic field. Reactive Power is the portion of power that contributes to the formation of a magnetic field.

b. While reactive power is required to power numerous electrical equipment, it can be hazardous to your appliances and other motorised loads, as well as the electrical infrastructure. Because the current flowing through your electrical system is greater than what is required to perform the required job, surplus power is dissipated as heat as the reactive current runs through resistive components such as cables, switches, and transformers.

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8. Can reactive power be minimised or compensated for?

a. Increasing the Power Factor You can locally correct reactive power requirements by installing capacitors of appropriate ratings [or Automatic Power Factor Corrector (APFC) Panels], hence minimising reactive power drawl from the grid.

9. Can you tell me more about Power Factor (PF)?

a. The desired Power Factor is unity, i.e. 1, with a range of Zero Lag – unity – Zero Lead. PF is zero lead for solely capacitive loads and zero lag for purely inductive loads.

b. A power factor of unity indicates that there is no reactive power exchange between the consumer and the grid. c. Power Factor is an indicator of energy conversion efficiency. If the PF is 0.85, that signifies that 15% of the power is not being converted into actual work. If the PF is 0.85, it suggests that inductive elements consume 15% of the power.

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If PF is 0.85, it signifies that capacitive parts supply 15% of the surplus reactive power. In both of the preceding situations, 15% of electricity is not resulting in actual labour. Leading and lagging power factors are both detrimental to the power system.

10. How do I find out what my Power Factor is?

a. For consumers who have installed TOD, Tri-vector Meters, or Meters, the instantaneous power factor is displayed on the consumer's metre, depending on the type of the immediate load.

b. To measure the PF, consumers can install PF metres at their LT panel. It is recommended to monitor the PF of each individual circuit / machine / plant in their internal distribution network as much as possible, so that the "low PF section" may be quickly spotted and responded to.

11. What exactly is Power Factor enhancement?

a. Power factor improvement entails decreasing reactive power demand from the power system in order to achieve power factor unity. It is nothing more than providing appropriate compensation so that the load's reactive power requirement is met locally rather than pulling it from the power system.

b. This necessitates determining the appropriate size / rating of capacitors to be fitted at each main inductive load.

12. What can I do to increase my Power Factor?

Improving the PF can increase current carrying capacity, voltage to equipment, reduce power losses, and cut electric expenses. Adding PF correction capacitors to the electrical system is the simplest technique to increase power factor. Reactive current generators are used by PF correction capacitors. They assist in offsetting the non-working power used by inductive loads, hence boosting power factor. The interaction of PF capacitors with specialist equipment, such as variable speed drives, necessitates the use of a well-designed system.

If the power factor is lagging, it can be improved by installing capacitors of appropriate ratings, and if it is leading, it can be improved by installing reactors/removing surplus capacitors with appropriate values.

You can also install a solar plant to improve your power factor, as some solar inverters have an option available to change their feedin power factor.

13. Is kVAh billing used anyplace in India?

a. State Electricity Regulatory Commissions in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, and other states have previously implemented kVAh-based tariffs for various categories.

14. Who suggested kVAh billing? / What are the legal and regulatory requirements for kVAh billing?

a. The Forum of Regulators (FOR) has suggested kVAh billing. According to FoR's report on "Metering Issues" published in August 2009, kVAh billing is the latest trend in energy billing that is being embraced globally. The report is available on the FoR website by clicking on the link below.

http://www.forumofregulators.gov.in/Data/Reports/Report-MeteringIssues%20august%20202009.pdf c. Multi Year Tariff (MYT) Order in Case No. 48 of 2016, dated November 3, 2016.


c. Order of MERC Mid-Term Review (MTR) in Case No. 195 of 2017, dated September 12, 2018.


15. What are the benefits of KVAH billing from the perspective of the consumer?

a. KVAH billing ensures that users who use power efficiently pay less in energy expenses than those who do not use power efficiently.

b. Because the number of parameters (PF, rkvah (lead/lag), kwh units) will be decreased, the new billing approach will be much easier to grasp.


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