We’ve all seen wind farms made up of huge turbines that power entire cities. Now, you can use the same technology on a smaller scale to power your home. These are called domestic, or home wind turbines.
The way it works is simple. You stick the turbine on your roof or land and when the wind blows, the blades spin. This kinetic energy powers a generator that creates clean electricity to power your home. The faster the wind, the more electricity you get.
- Reduce your bills: wind is free, forever. The UK is the windiest country in Europe so your bills could drop dramatically. Of course, installation and maintenance costs are things to think about.
- Make money: power companies might even buy energy from you. You can apply to sell the energy you produce or use as much as you need, then sell the excess.
- Reduce your carbon footprint: totally green and renewable, a home wind turbine slashes your carbon footprint.
- Save up: you can store energy you don’t use for another day.
Exporting or offsetting wind energy
There are two ways you can use the electricity generated by your home wind turbine. You can send it straight out of your home and get paid for it, or you can send it through your home first and then sell any excess after.
Exporting is when the electricity from a home wind turbine goes through a utility company to the national grid. It’s fed through an export meter (the clever bit that records energy as it passes through) and you’re paid on the export value – the price per kWh of electricity.
Offsetting is when the electricity initially goes through your own distribution board – the panel that directs electricity to various circuits around a home. Electricity always takes the easiest route so all of the stuff in your home would be powered first. If there’s any excess, it flows backwards to a utility company and then to the national grid.
When the electricity demand in your home is lower than the power your turbine is generating, it results in something known as combined offsetting and exporting. This is the best way to maximise on your home wind turbine.
Which wind turbine should I get?
Building mounted wind turbines
This is the popular choice for people living in built up areas. If you have a high roof that gets enough wind speed regularly, it’s definitely worth considering. The turbine is mounted on top of your home and costs on average £2,000. Although they’re unlikely to produce enough energy to sell to the national grid, they’ll lower your bills and carbon footprint – a major step in the right direction.
Free-standing or pole mounted wind turbines
These work best in rural, exposed areas where the turbine will work well and planning permission won’t be an issue. If you have the space and want to sell your electricity, a free-standing wind turbine is the best bet. Costs range depending on size and output but they’re pretty pricey, ranging from £7,000 to as much as £70,000.