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Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost?

Does your house use this thing?

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Electricity saving box?

It is said to be able to reduce your electricity bill and save you money. All you have to do is plugging in this thing into one of your socket outlets. Some of you may ask what this thing is. There are a lot of names used to name this thing, such as power saver, electrical energy saver, power factor regulator, power capacitor, capacitor bank, just to name a few.

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Closer look

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Plug into the socket outlet

Is this thing really helps in reducing your monthly electricity bill? From my background knowledge, this thing (let’s call it capacitor bank) works based on the concept of power factor correction.

Power consists of 2 components, the real power and the reactive power. Real power or average power is the actual power developed and only exists at resistors. Meanwhile, reactive power is the power developed due to reactance, may it be inductive or capacitive. The ratio of real power to apparent power is what we call as power factor. Power factor also can be denoted as cos θ.

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Power Triangle

Before I continue further, let me tell you that the power meter at your home only measures real power. It does not measure reactive power. So your monthly electricity bill is based on how many unit real power your home is using. Ok, now. Power factor correction is the process of altering the power factor so that it is closer to unity (cos 0 = 1). If a capacitor bank is connected in parallel with the load (plug into socket outlet), it can subsequently improve the power factor to a value close to unity as shown in the figure below. But look carefully, after the power factor correction, only reactive power is reduced while there is no change to the real power. So, I have to say that the use of capacitor bank would not save anything on your monthly electricity bill.

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Power factor correction only reduces reactive power (var), not real power (W)

However, there are still some advantages of power factor correction. By connecting the capacitor bank to your socket outlet, the electrical load on the utility company (Tenaga and SESCO) is reduced. This allows the utility company to supply the surplus power to other consumers without increasing its generating capacity. Thus, although the use of capacitor bank does not help in saving your monthly electricity cost, it actually improves the efficiency in the power usage and in a way more environmental friendly.

Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost? picture earth song  photo
Transformer in a substation

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50 comments to Does Power Saver Really Save Your Monthly Electricity Cost?

  • Alex

    I receive comments from those who actually bought it. Apparently it doesn’t work.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  • I’m lost half way through your post. :P My mind rusty liao. Anyway I’ve not heard or seen this thing before. But do tell me if it works for your home ok?

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • huei

    very technical!

    anything to help save electricity cost ar? *ahem**ahem*

    besides ofcourse..turning off thigns when u dun need them! =P heheh

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • foongpc

    I didn’t know such a gadget exist! If can save electricity I don’t mind getting it, but looks like it does not. Btw, how much does it cost?

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • Khengsiong

    Like my university lecture… no longer remember all these stuff…

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • jam

    Alex, you are right. It doesn’t work!

    Che-Cheh, it doesn’t work.

    Huei, I know it is a bit technical.

    foongpc, it only costs a few bucks each.

    You studied this before, Khengsiong?

  • Pat

    this does work, but its practicality is overestimated, for industry, it works, because of the amount of motors and inductive loads found in an industrial setting, but in residential, you only have a handful of inductive loads and their powerfactors are already corrected. so the theory works, but it would take about a hundred years to make up the investment.

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Steve

    There are so many of these “Home Electric Cost Savers” being pedaled on the internet and by MLM Companies that claim they will save you 10% to 30% on your Electric Bill. Where can one find an objective comparison of these devices and whether any of them do any good other than preying on most responsible people who desperately need such a device??

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Henry_Mccoy

    Yes you will save but depends on your monthly consumption… Lets say you pay US$200 a month on your electricity bill and the amount you save is US$30 a month at 15% more efficiency, then you will save around US$360 a year… and the cost of the equipment is around US$300. its not reasonable at all. But if you consume say around US$500 a month then its fine…

    Why I say you will save is that our appliances consume in VA = Apparent Power, but Power Utilities Bills us on Real Power = Watts…. For example your electrical system in your house has a 0.8 pf and let say at a certain time youre house is consuming around 300VA so the Wattage used = 300/0.8 = 375 Watts…. But if the power factor (pf = 0.98) corrected… Then the Watt used = 300/0.98 = 306.12 Watts, which you have around 69 Watts of savings… and its around 22.5% savings in your consumption….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  • jam

    Interesting insight, Henry! But I still doubt whether it can really save our monthly electricity bill or not. When we look at Power Triangle, the changing of power factor does not actually change the real power. It just reduces reactive power which has nothing to do with your electricity bill.

  • Ali

    nice theory and good explanation by henry too. As i have asked few of he elecrical experts it does save wastage of current mainly inducive. I have used it myself at home and got excellent results. I wonder how the bill was reduced almost more then 40% while the usage was same like last month. i saved 270 units in a month…….. same results were shown on my friends bills as well. it does work….

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  • boki

    tol, interisado ako nito pero ok lng ba ilagay ko ang power saver ko before sa circuit breaker??? which is after sa meter kasi yun lng madali lagyan sa electrical design ng bahay namin… paki sagot lng po plssss

    tanx

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Catherine

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  • Gerard

    Hi Catherine. Can you please tell me where you got this unit from?

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • John

    Gerard:

    Catherine sells them…

    No wonder why she claims it really works.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  • Roland

    I’ve bought 50 units of the power saver to test in multiple locations in Thailand and Singapore. What I didn’t expected was the mount saving in electricity usage.
    It seems that in Thailand the saving can be as much as 40% whereas in Singapore you get about 20% saving. This have to do with the way the electric meter measure power usage in each country. Some country provide more allowance for reactive power. For instance a 5% allowance means Power Factor of 0.95 will be billed based on real power, but if your power factory is 0.75, you will be charge a premium on the difference of 0.20.
    It is normal for Electric Company to charge extra premium because they have to provide more power to factor for the difference, although your real power usage is lower. No Business is stupid enough to cater for more but get paid less.
    However user must be aware that power saving only works on inductive loads like air-conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine, magnetic induction heater, fluorescent light, but not on resistive load like convection oven, water heater, clothes iron, hot plate electric cooker, incandescent light .
    You’ve to select a unit with the correct power ratings to get maximum savings. Getting a unit with too much spare capacity will actually reduce your power savings. Calculate your total electrical equipment power requirement plus 20% allowance will give you the optimum investment and savings with some spare capacity.

    The cost of such product is only a fraction of your power saving. You can easily recover investment within 1 month to 3 months in most cases. The power is retailing between USD20 to USD50 each for single phase unit with 15kw to 24kw rating when purchased online. :smile1_tb:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  • Ed Graves Radiant Barrier

    I was under the impression that some do work but they have to be correctly sized and installed by a master electrician?

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Roland

    You don’t need a master electrician to install the unit. Get unit with 15 to 24kw rating for 2 or 3 bedrooms apartment. For Houses with 3 to 4 bedrooms, unit with 30kw to 45kw will do better. Your can add additional unit if you think the load is higher than the estimated. Also plug on to the socket nearest to your circuit breaker for best result.
    Houses that use 3 phase power should use only 3 phase power saver. These units usually comes in 65kw upwards, and they are more expensive. Such 3 phase power saver should only be installed by qualified electrician for safety.
    Buy only from reputable source(usually those with money back guaranteed)to avoid fake look-a-like unit. Enjoy the savings :em47:

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • catherine

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  • shaji

    Dear All,

    By using this I2R loss in a cable can be reduced. In case of motor by connecting capacitor the motor loading can be increased instead of adding more motor.

    Capacitor bank used in domestic can be useful in case the wiring of house is very old

    :em46:

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • hhuggles

    These PFC boxes or capacitors do work but the savings may not be significant for the homeowner.

    A typical residential power meter on the outside of the house reads True Power. This is the spec sheet for the meter currently on my house(found on the internet)http://www.elstermetering.com/downloads/REX_meter_data_sheet.pdf
    The exploded view shows current transformers and voltage sensor.
    Since reactive power is power that goes to the inductive load and then is returned to the grid, the meter reads it in both directions and it is not billed.
    Reactive power becomes consumed when it is lost in the line loss of the wiring.
    When used at the loads, they reduce this line loss which improves the voltage for the loads which improves the load’s efficiency(Increase their life span).
    As it was stated in the forum, if the PFC units are connected when the load is not energized then they are creating a capacitance load which may generate line losses on the user’s side of the meter and this is then billed to the user.

    You will save the most money by shutting stuff off or installing timers or changing stuff to more efficient units.
    The best system of PFC in a house will result in a savings on the inductive loads of 20% at best. This is achieved with units sized to each and every inductive load and connected at the load to be energized when the loads are used.
    Inductive loads try to maintain their magnetic fields when the voltage goes down, hence they draw more when the voltage goes down. Capacitors draw more when the voltage goes up. Hence they should be paired up to reduce the reactive current through the meter.
    It works. Is it right for you? Depends on your situation.

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  • Mike

    As I understand a simple fluorescent lamp works also as capacitor unit thus also improving a Power factor. This provides saving of reactive power consumption.

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Lee

    The cost of just surviving these days is so outlandish, the price of food, the price of gas, and the cost of electric.. why on earth would someone buy this if it does not work? to help the energy company ? what about your own pocket being raped bone dry with bills you cannot afford to keep up with. I have had it. I am sick and tired of feeding the corporate gurus more money just so they can live the lavish life style while I scrounge and struggle just to feed my children.

    I hate the prices of life… I loathe it. I am happiest when I am sleeping why? because everything in life costs so damn much money I cannot take it any more. I have literally had it.!!!!!!!!! I do not want to have to pay $475 for a damned license plate just so I can drive my 18 year old falling apart car. I do not want to pay fricken $4 a gallon for gas .. pump $10 into the tank and get below a 1/4 worth of gas…only to have to do it the next day. I’m so sick of this BS!!! I looked at this unit thinking it would cut my electric bill down..and apparently it doesnt.. chalk one up for the pigs that live.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • joel Lopez

    hi!!

    where to buy the power saver? Is that power saver available
    in the philippines? i would like to see the circuit

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • George

    The One’s in the Photo seems like a Joke.
    It is NOT large enough a capacitor to handle reactive power

    And in the home it has absolutely no impact , because there is not sufficient inductive loads ( big induction motors) enough to alter reactive power , Neither does the user get charged a tariff like the industries do.
    For Industries there is some benefit , then again when specially designed capacitors are wired in near large inductive loads ( meaning motors ).

    Large inductive motors can be very wasteful if they were not well designed in and with a power factor as low as 0.4 at times , meaning 60 % of the energy wasted

    And it can be improved only in factories / where such motors are used

    They are supposed to carefully designed in and the attempt is ever is to try and improve specific loads back to about 0.8 PF so as to avoid a penalty and prohibitive tariff and that is already some big job …

    None of the VFD ( varible freqency drives ) aka Inverters technology will not benefit from Power factor capacitor Correction .

    Hope I have made it clear.

    And because I have done these stuff for Industries .

    Then there are E-save technology that works on phase control ( voltage control to match the varying loads ) … look up http://www.powerefficiency.com suited for both the technology

    And if you need my advise , you will know how to find me

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  • siusarboy

    If you are interested in the energy deregulation (no more monopoly by the local utility companies) happening in the United States, you can visit my blog @@ usenergynews.blogspot.com @@ This blog’s goal is to share the energy related news in the United States. I hope everyone can save money on their energy utility (electricity and natural gas) bills.

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  • John

    The saving achieved with power factor correction depends mainly on the method of charging for electricity. In Spain poor power factor is penalised and shown as a separate charge. Even with power supplied as 3 phase, it is possiblle to use a single phase device as most of the poor power factor equipment is located on the phase to the kitchen.

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  • Dino Matucci

    I look at it this way,does it work or not ! if it did work,one of the biggest electric companies,”Square D” would be producing them and have them in thier catalog,but they don’t.The only places that sell these units are individuals from home, When I see so large manufaturers selling them,with thier reputations on the line,then I MIGHT believe..

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Ydnam

      Square D is a subsidiary of Schneider Electric. Try to look for their Automatic Capacitor Bank or their Power Faction Correction Program.

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • pula

    dear ,
    i used it to my computer, but nothing to ales.when used power saver unit pc got 0.6A, without unit got 0.3A. pls. tell me the what is the reason of this?

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    • Ydnam

      the power savers you bought might be too big(size of var)
      as required and it becomes a load thus it increases the current.

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  • Migz Major

    Yup! It Doesnt work! We threw away our PowerSaver for it only Increase our Electricity bill by 2%! Ughhh! I hate that Device!

    We Tried 4 Power Savers with different Brands but still!

    It doesnt Work!

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • jgold

    I dont know if i should buy or not. I really want my electric bill to go down but i dont want to waste money on something that does not work. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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  • Azizur Rahman

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  • myne

    For me and my husband, we change all our lights to LED to lower our electrical consumption. I bought this power saver few years back and I Can tell that it does not work.

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    • Melisa

      hmmmm what device is that? As I bought same device 4 months ago, at first month I really thought that this does not really works as my bill decreased only about 5-10%, well I considered the month as it was summer but the following months bill honestly decreased to 28%

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • m

    Azizur, don’t waste ur time..if the gadget really works ur government sure wl use it..to save nation energy.. might get thrown by the purchaser later..

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  • rony

    upon reading all your comments…i may suggest to myself not to buy one…if its really works, why goverment dont intruduce it to every household so it can help every families…we all needs to lessen our expenses to survive..thanks to evryone here…

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Ydnam

    The Reading of the Meter Is Directly Proportional to the
    Voltage (V) Applied and the Current (I) Flowing through It.
    “The Reading Is Proportional To the True Power (KW)”
    “Current Will Be Highest When Power Factor Is at Its Lowest (meter is Faster), likewise,
    Current Will Be Lowest When Power Factor Is At Its Highest (meter is slower)”.
    “The Current (I) Is Inversely Proportional With the KW and With the Power Factor”!!!
    Hence, In the ELECTRICAL WORLD,
    KW Is the Product of Current and Voltage and Power Factor
    KW = V x I x POWER FACTOR
    The Reading of the Meter Is Directly Proportional to the Voltage (V) Applied and the Current (I) Flowing through It.
    KW is Working Power (also called Actual Power or Active Power or Real Power). It is the power that actually powers the equipment and performs useful work.

    KVAR is Reactive Power. It is the power that magnetic equipment (transformer, motor and relay) needs to produce the magnetizing flux.
    KVA is Apparent Power. It is the “vectorial summation” of KVAR and KW. (KVA2 = KW2 +KVAR2)
    Power Factor (PF) is the ratio of working power to apparent power which or KW/KVA. Power factor values can carry from 0 to 1.00. Typically, values range from 0.80 to 0.98. A power factor below 0.85 is considered low and money is wasted.
    The SAVING depends on the size of the reactive power to be corrected. You may bought the power saver but it was not enough to correct the power factor. power factors greatly affect the current. Most power savers sold were lacking in information as to the SIZE of the VAR (for residential) or KVAR for (industrial.

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    • Jean

      My husband bought one when we moved out from our parents house, we been using it for about 6 months and I thought it was not working and its because I will use the outlet where power saver is plugged-in I unplugged it and didnt use it for a month. When my husband received our electricity bill after a month he was shocked as it increased up to 40%. Is it because we did not use the power saver for the month?

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  • Bella

    I wanter to lower my bills but I had no knowlegde about energy deals so used one of the websites that compare prices. You just need to give them information about your current bills and they will find you a cheaper deal. I used Tower Utility.

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  • Bella

    I wanted to lower my bills but I had no knowlegde about energy deals so used one of the websites that compare prices. You just need to give them information about your current bills and they will find you a cheaper deal. I used Tower Utility.

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jayr Lerion

    In my own opinion… if the internal control system of the devices, controls the power factor or say to correct the power factor… So, that devices doesn’t save power… Thats if you are using it in residential… The reason is that, your not paying for that, or say you can’t get an incentive from the power company by correcting a residential power factor. In the otherhand correcting power factor in commercial and industrial, it is possible because the electric company will give you and incentive if you can correct your power factor near to unity “1″.

    If you want to save power in your home. Dont select the device that control power factor, sure you can see that the ampere is going down… but the true power which is kw is not going down… Remember, your not paying the ampere/hour… your paying the kilowatt/hour… not even the voltage/hour, and not the kvar/hr… just purely the true power… again as of now, if you want to save power… please turn it of if your not using…

    In otherway, and as advice… if your building a house use big size of wire… if you will use an extension use a big size of wire… Remember this “the longer the wire the higher the resistance, also, the smaller the wire the higher the resistance”…

    AND by the way, correcting a power factor in your system is not bad… it will help your system or wiring not overloaded. and don’t put it before the main switch or near the main switch… the nearer to the load the power correction is effective. or else if you just put it just after the main switch… only the electric company benefits it…

    Thank you and happy power saving… MAY GOD BLESS US ALL…

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  • Moritz

    As mentioned before many times ( the short version )
    - Companies get billed for reactive energy but privates not = even if it did work there is no money to save!

    yea yea yea, ( a longer version )
    You might save a few Watts that might heat up your cables a bit more, but!!!
    Were talking about really, really small savings here and only if you put correct sized capacitors close to each motor.
    Repeating, CORRECT SIZE and CLOSE TO EACH MOTOR!!!
    One big, far from the motors will not help and nothing is saved!

    Not convinced and still reading? think of this:
    Wrong dimension capacitors ( or no motor running ) will still do their job and takes care of your neighbors reactive energy making their current run through your wires so wrong size will definitely make extra current run through your house.
    Did you buy big enough ( from china? ) and still think it can make less power flow through your house?

    Forget this idea or you might end up discovering what harm a miss used capacitor can do: – producing high voltages, – currents and worst off all, going up in smoke maybe together with your house…!!!
    Turn of the light’s, disconnect st-by boxes, lower the temp… the usual savings + one more saving, don’t buy a power saver!

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  • adrian best

    they do work u people need to set them up correctly i bought 3 of them and i currently only use one for my entire household appliances my usage is about 12kw per day it has dropped to about 7kw per day and i have not changed my pattern of electricity usage i think i used even more than usual lol my device has a 18kw maximum capacity so i was well with in range u need to set them up correctly and they will work so this is especially for people who have never even tried them
    and mouth off that they don’t work SET THEM UP CORRECTLY AND THEY WILL WORKKKKKKKKK.

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  • adrian best

    my electricity bill has gone from 300 dollars a month down to 160 dollars a month with no changes in my usage habits.

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