The power utilities in most industrialised nations charge users a penalty when their power system’s power factor drops below a certain level, usually below 0.90. This power factor surcharge covers the electric utility’s cost of supplying your power system with additional reactive power.
In South Africa, no “fines” are imposed as yet, although Eskom intends to introduce fines in the near future.
Some South African municipalities (i.e. City Power) do charge for excessive reactive power consumed, which is a form of “fine”. City Power charges for all reactive power consumed below a power factor of 0.96!