The general population is split into two categories: those who love wind turbines and those who detest them. Their qualities are undeniable. They provide a never-ending source of free energy, and when 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK it would be a shame to not exploit it. But are roof mounted wind turbines for domestic buildings cost-effective?
Your home will need to satisfy certain criteria before fitting roof mounted wind turbines becomes worth the investment. When the cost of installing them can range between £2000 for a roof-mounted 1kW microwind system to £22,500 for a 6kW pole-mounted system, you’ll want to be assured that you’re not wasting your money. Consider these three things if you want your home to save energy and money.
1. To be sure that roof mounted wind turbines will work, first purchase a wind gauge
There are many factors which could limit how much wind your property is exposed to. If you live in a built up area inland it’s unlikely you’ll make much of a return with wind turbines. If you live in a more open area, or near to the coast, you may make up the initial installation costs very soon. Purchasing an anemometer first and using it for at least three full months to get your average quarterly amount of wind is advisable.
2. Remember to take the costs of maintenance into account
The Energy Saving Trust estimate that general maintenance checks cost about £100 to £200 a year depending on your turbine’s size. Turbines which are well maintained may still only last about 20 years and you’ll probably need to replace the inverter during that time. This can cost between £1000 and £2000. If you purchase an off-grid system, you may also need to replace the battery every six to 10 years, and the cost of this can vary dramatically. If you also have a back-up generator installed you’ll have to make room for the fuel and maintenance costs for that.
A 6kW system can generate up to 10,000kWh, but the upfront and regular costs involved with running roof mounted wind turbines can exceed your savings.
3. Consider the alternative sources of free energy
If you discover that you don’t get enough wind around your property to supply sufficient amounts of energy or you wouldn’t make enough of a saving, consider fitting solar PV panels instead. These are generally cheaper to fit and will still generate energy when it’s not particularly sunny.
You can opt in to a Feed-In Tariff with both solar panels and roof-mounted wind turbines. If you don’t live in a windy area you won’t gain much out of it, if anything at all, so you should consider other options.
Check out this Which? guide for further information on installing home wind turbines.tagsenergy efficiencyenergy efficientfree energygreen energygreen homerenewable energyroof mounted wind turbineswind turbinewind turbines