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The Baseline Explained * Energy Savings California Solar Panels Baseline Power Factor Energy Star Compliance

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Explanation of "Baseline"Power Factor - Energy Star

The electricity company supplies you with a baseline of electricity to use a certain number of Kilowatts per month at the lowest and mostly unchanging rate which makes up the baseline.

Then they have to supply extra to make up for the energy leaks in a home caused by a poor power factor or poor efficiency of a home using more than the baseline. When the power factor falls below a set figure, the electricity supply companies charge a premium on the additional kilowatts being consumed and rate increases occur in these premium rates.

The reactive power charge on your electricity bill is directly targeted against those electric users who do not demonstrate clear energy efficiency use. You will find this charge itemized on your electricity bill. This high tier(s) is not only where normal increases occur but it is also the target for utility companies to recover their new imposed costs due to their cap and trade retrofits.

Retroactive power charges can be made significantly smaller by the introduction of Power Factor Corrections which is Energy Star's method of reducing electrical requirements and minimizing wasted energy, improving the efficiency of a building or home will then reduce the electricity bill. A newer home built under Title 24 or an existing Energy Star tested and compliant home would be considered to have an ideal Energy Factor.

Once Energy Star compliant, and if the usage requirements of a particular home still exists beyond the baseline, additional steps may be cost effective to offset the premium over baseline charges in order to levelize rates dropping to baseline. This would only be a factor if that additional power is supplied by a fixed cost source and is equal to or less than the supplied, higher cost electricity from the current supplier.

It is not always necessary to reach a power factor below the baseline. A cost effective solution can be achieved by increasing your power factor to be equal to or near the baseline.

A full diagnostic analysis is required to determine what type and size of upgrades or system corrections are required to meet your current and future needs.

A certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) technician can carry out the diagnostic analysis and in most cases the cost of the diagnostic analysis can be remitted against the cost of any Energy Star compliance measures undertaken. A Heers Rater can further certify the building or home for Energy Star compliance.

For more information and to schedule an analysis, call Energy Savings California! (916) 955-3374.

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