Domestic wind turbines are a green way of reducing your electricity costs and saving money. They can easily power appliances in the home and any excess can be stored for later use or can in fact be sold back to the national grid. This makes the idea an even more cost effective exercise. Turbines are available in a variety of sizes and prices and with power ranging from one hundred watts up to fifty kilowatts.
How much energy can a turbine produce?
Typically small micro wind turbines with a power of two point five kilowatts are used domestically and it is estimated that savings could be made of between one quarter and one third of the households annual electricity bill. It could also generate four to five thousand units of energy that the household can sell to the national grid.
Costs and Grants
The cost of a typical turbine including charge controller, mast, winch and batteries is approximately seven thousand pounds; however there are green energy grants available via the governments 'Feed in Tariff' that will then guarantee at least twenty five pence per unit of energy generated for twenty years. These grants guarantee payments for energy generated as long as the turbine is installed before two thousand and thirteen. Maintenance costs are minimal as turbines only require checks every few years and should last over twenty years in total and the storage life of the batteries is estimated at between six and ten years.
Assuming all of the above costs and that the system lasts twenty years then this equates to an average of eight point four pence per kilowatt hour, you would then need to compare this with your electricity bill to adequately assess your possible savings.
It is also interesting to note that if a wind turbine is fitted when a house is built it does not attract value added tax so this could also be seen as a potential saving. If installing a large wind turbine at your domestic property you may need planning permission before installing so this could equate to a further cost, you would also need to be on good terms with your neighbours!
In real terms this is equivalent to approximately one thousand three hundred pounds in income and savings per year for an average household when eligible for the feed in tariff. The green cost to the environment is also a significant factor and equates to approximately two point two tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.