Is there a direct, or even exponential relationship between the amount of Hz and power consumed in KWH?

In other words, take this example:

Let's say a power company changes it's regulated output to the grid from 60Hz to 62 Hz. Will this increase the consumption or power used in KWH in a home, assuming all other variables remain constant?


1 Answer 1


It shouldn't, if the devices are engineered properly to not be affected by small fluctuations in line frequency.

In the simplest case, a lightbulb (or any other resistive heating element) has a power consumption which is independent of the line frequency.

However, this scenario couldn't really occur in the case of a single isolated power company, since AFAIK the national grid (at least in the US) is set up so that generators are all phase-locked to 60 Hz. Otherwise, if there was a phase drift or (worse) any frequency difference with one particular supplier, there would be catastrophic problems when the company attempted to supply energy to the grid.

In practice, it is actually the frequency (or more specifically, the phase) which deviates slightly in response to load, rather than load deviating in response to deviations in frequency, as mentioned in this question.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Dumpster. I should be more specific. Same question, but there is only one power company, it is foreign and there is little to no regulation as it is a government agency. Also, assume that most homes are not limited to just resistive heating elements, but most likely will have induction motor(s) as well. $\endgroup$
    – user42490
    Mar 14, 2014 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @user42490: You actually might want to ask on Electrical Engineering StackExchange for more specifics on how home appliances and other devices would react to such a change, as I'm sure there's a lot of people there who could get into the details and give you advice. I don't have an engineering degree, so I'm not really qualified to speak about these matters, especially if the change might impact a large number of people. $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2014 at 18:15

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