Over the last few weeks I have heard reports of a group calling themselves Earthwise Power Savers selling an energy efficiency product at local shopping centres. Their claims of 35% instant savings (plus unspecified health benefits) were a little too good to be true so I have done a little digging.
This is an expensive scam. What they are selling is known as a power factor correction device. This is a real device and it will correct your power factor but what it won't do is save you any money. Power factor correction is used on big industrial and commercial sites to compensate for the effect of switching on and off huge motors. Without getting technical, a bad power factor causes a large amount of electricity to be wasted as heat. An industrial site with a bad power factor can affect large sections of the grid so the utility companies fine those users if their power factors are bad. Domestic electricity meters can not sense power factor. Domestic users are not charged for power factor. This device can not save you money. All it can do is cost you several hundred dollars plus a visit from their "specially certified electrician" which will cost several hundred more.