The load factor is the ratio between the average power (the energy supplied to the system) and the maximum demand in a period of time.
The load factor is usually obtained with energy and demand measurements. Seasonal load and load growing may be considered. The consumer diversity and the different consumer behaviours in areas with different geographical and socioeconomic characteristics may also influence the load factor.
When the demand and the energy are related, the load factor is important for evaluating the economics of any supply. Given that a system is planned as a function of the maximum demand, a high load factor means a high use rate and, consequently, reduced unitary cost (for unit of supplied energy).
For cables in air, the load factor is fixed to 1.0. For buried cables, the load factor can be changed to a value < 1.0 (we limit to ≥ 0.3).