We are committed to New York State's plan to reduce electricity use and to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the coming decades. Orange & Rockland, the Public Service Commission (PSC) along with the other electric utilities in the state, have been evaluating ways to reduce energy loss on New York's electric grid. These losses are damaging to the environment and cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
One of the most significant ways electricity is lost occurs when reactive power travels along power lines. Reactive power is required for electric motors, fluorescent ballasts and other equipment to be magnetized and start up. The more reactive power that customers use, the more energy the electric system loses, with a corresponding increase in the amount of greenhouse gases that get released into the atmosphere.
To encourage businesses to reduce their use of reactive power, we implemented a reactive power charge. Large commercial customers are charged when their power factor, or efficiency, is less than 95 percent.
The charge will also apply to customers who have induction generators that meet 1,000 kW and 500 kW thresholds.