Wind is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced. If your home isn't connected to the National Grid you can store excess electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind. If your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can't use it, someone else can use it - and you could make a bit of money through the Feed-in-Tariff scheme.
40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. Small systems known as "microwind" or "small-wind" turbines can produce electricity to help power the lights and electrical appliances in a typical home.
What is the Feed-in Tariff scheme?
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) became available in Great Britain on 1st April 2010. Under this scheme energy suppliers have to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as wind turbines.
The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to grid. These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using the electricity generated on-site.
If you are eligible to receive the FIT then you will benefit in 3 ways:
1. Generation tariff – a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. This rate will change each year for new entrants to the scheme (except for the first 2 years), but once you join you will continue on the same tariff for 20 years, or 25 years in the case of solar electricity (PV).
2. Export tariff - you will receive a further 3p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, that is when it isn’t used on site. The export rate is the same for all technologies.
3. Energy bill savings – you will be making savings on your electricity bills, because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.
Visited the Energy Saving Trust to see how much you may be able to earn.
Costs and Savings
Costs for a roof mounted microwind system are about £2,000. Larger mast mounted systems cost between £15,000 and £24,000, including VAT at 5% and installation.
Recent monitoring of a range of small domestic wind systems has shown that a well sited 6kW turbine could generate around 10,000kWh per year which is equivalent to around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. A system this size could generate income and savings of around £3,200 a year when eligible for the Feed In Tariff.
Maintenance checks are necessary every few years, and a well-maintained turbine should last over 20 years. For off-grid systems, battery life is typically between 6 and 10 years.
Grants and Discounts
Installing an energy efficient measure in your home may not cost as much as you think. You may be eligible for a grant or discount to cover the costs of your installation. To find the right offer for you search the Energy Saving Trust's Grants and Discounts Database. The tool is easy to use and only takes 5 minutes to complete.
To find out if Wind Turbines are suitable for your home visit the Home Energy Generation Selector Tool.
For further information on wind turbines contact:
Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre: 0800 512 012
Renewable UK: 020 7901 3001