Generating your own wind energy

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wind turbineYou might have noticed the many wind farms sprouting up across the UK.

How about ‘earning back’ energy costs through your own home wind turbine?

It could help reduce energy bills and your carbon footprint. 

How do wind turbines work? 

Large blades are carefully designed to use the wind to turn the turbine and generate electricity.

Home wind turbines – how much can they cost?

The Energy Savings Trust explains that the cost of the system depends on the size and the mounting method of the turbine. You can learn more about the different mounting methods here.

Costs for equipment and installation are typically:

  • £2,000 for a roof-mounted 1kW microwind system
  • £15,000 for 2.5kW pole-mounted system
  • £22,500 for 6kW pole-mounted system

Although you may save money on lower energy bills in the long run, you will probably still need to budget for the initial costs. You might want to create a savings plan to fund the project or consider a loan.

Alternatively, there is a list of grants on EnergyShare.com.

Savings

The trust confirms that building-mounted turbines tend to produce less electricity per kW than pole-mounted ones. It adds that a well-sited 6kW turbine can generate around 10,000kWh per year:

  • saving around 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • generating income and savings, if eligible for Feed-In Tariffs, of around £3,200.

 Feed-in and Export Tariffs

If you generate your own electricity, under a ‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT), some energy suppliers may pay you for each unit (kilowatt hour or kWh) of electricity),

As well as the Feed-in tariff, Gov.uk advises that home owners can also sell any extra units they don’t use back to their electricity supplier. This is called an ‘export tariff’.  Rates can be 4.5p per unit of electricity for wind energy where FIT was applied on or after 1 December 2012. If FIT was applied before these dates, rates remain at 3.2p for each unit of electricity.

Planning permission?

PlanningPortal.gov.uk gives further information about whether planning permission needs to be granted for the installation of wind turbines.

Doing your bit for the environment

As part of a package of home improvements, tapping into a green energy source is one way to do your bit for the environment. After all, wind energy is green and renewable, and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. What’s more, if the home is not connected to the national grid, excess electricity can be stored and released in batteries when there is no wind.

This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. It aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include handy tips and tricks, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Any links to Sainsbury’s Bank product pages contained within this post are there to provide information, not to directly promote financial products. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

3 Comments

  1. One on December 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    There are also downsides to having a windmill in your backyard. Most of us don’t think of these aspects, but they are worth considering. Watch Windfall documentary.

    Sure, wind energy makes sense, on rocky hills, on the shores etc. but not in someone’s backyard, while disturbing neighbours.



  2. Lauren on December 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Can you have more than one roof mounted turbine on your roof, sounds to me like the most economical option.



  3. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on December 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    This was such an interesting and informative post! I would love for us to generate our own wind energy!!



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