Real or Apparent power

  • 10 January 2021
  • 3 replies

Can anyone tell me whether the reading from smart meters for the electric supply are used to make charges on Real Power or the Apparent power used. With fixtures like led lights this could make a big difference on what you pay for its use. The old meters that were replaced by the smart meter could only read real power.

3 replies

Nice question @Craigx!

It seems that Real Power is correctly used by both types.

A little background explains that reactive power is hard for energy companies as it’s current they have to supply, whilst only getting paid for the power. Thus there is a push to make modern Power Supplies have a unity power factor. Large consumers are monitored for this to ensure compliance.

There’s an old story from when Electricity was first becoming established in London. The local company sent bills for electric current supplied. Some wag successfully challenged this on the basis that the current was not supplied; he returned every amp provided back to the provider (via the neutral line). They had to start charging on the basis of power thereafter.

i like that story.

I understand that smart meters can measure both true  power and apparent power and that depends on the supplin g company. Which is used by Pure Planet

I would assume it’s real power. Have you experience that some companies use apparent power? 

I’d assume the DNO’s would want to increase the power factor, but with no benefit for the like of PP. I guess the answer is mandated to avoid unfairness/confusion…

You can use Wattbot to ask PP specific questions: 

Or keep chatting in the community. 😊