Effective power: VA=VIcos(Φ) where Φ is the phase angle between the current and the power.
For a pure capacitive load the current will lead the voltage by 90° or Π/2 Radians
Therefore for a purely capacitive load, although the effective power would be 0, the actual power drawn is V*I
The same goes for a purely inductive load, where the current lags the voltage by 90° and cos(-90) = cos(270) = 0
This would mean that under those conditions, although the system draws V*I watts out of the system, the work done is 0, which is what the meter on the incoming mains, will also read.
This is not a good state for either the consumer or the supplier, therefore power factor correction is applied. As most loads are inductive, the method used to correct the power factor, is by using a capacitor of the appropriate size, for the load.
Domestically, washing machines, drills, etc. have in built capacitors, and in anycase, their effect is minimal.
Industrially, where they have 3 phase power feeding large transformers, large motor driven machines, ones which require 10kVA or more, will also require the incoming mains to have power factor correction capacitor connected. These however tend to be dynamic, where the power factor is constantly monitored and capacitors are automatically switched in to keep the PF as close to 1 as possible.