In the UK, we’re used to seeing vast commercial wind farms out in the countryside, which generate clean and cost-effective energy on a large-scale. But can smaller residential wind turbines provide the same benefits? Here are some things you should know if you’re considering wind power for your home.
Wind turbines can benefit from net metering. This means they can connect to the traditional power grid to provide energy for the home, feeding any excess power back to the grid. In other words, the home can get its electricity from the grid when the wind isn’t blowing. Even in the UK—one of the windiest countries in Europe, especially Scotland—the wind doesn’t blow continuously, so a net metering setup is typically the most practical option.
Smaller rooftop turbines, on the other hand, are not connected to the grid. These off-grid systems, which are better suited to suburbs and cities, usually charge batteries to provide power to the home. As a result, they are usually not strong enough to supply the total amount of electricity required, so are best used as supplementary power source. This can mitigate reliance on traditional electricity, ultimately decreasing the homeowner’s utility bills.
The best way to generate wind energy is to install a free-standing pole-mounted turbine—in an area with sufficient space and a steady supply of wind—as these are the most effective models.
However, the reality is that small rooftop models will be the most suitable (and most affordable) option for most homeowners.
These units are not designed to provide 100% of your home’s power (it will more likely be between 25 to 50%)—but they can still significantly decrease your electricity bills.
Another option is to partner a rooftop turbine with another source of renewable energy, like solar panels, to achieve even greater savings.
Under the right circumstances, a residential wind turbine can be a practical and profitable energy solution for homeowners. You should research the right turbine for your location and understand that wind power probably won’t provide all the electricity you need—but it can certainly lower your electricity bills.