Your guide is on a quest to find a cost effective way to reduce energy costs in the home. And I have been eye-balling some roof top wind generators, but with costs in the $50,000 range, it’s not like I’ll be pulling the trigger anytime soon. One homeowner in Ravenswood built a net-zero energy usage home, featured in the Tribune a couple weeks ago.
Today’s Trib has another article about a homeowner who installed a more modest wind turbine that generates about 600 watts.
Unlike the monstrous bladed commercial turbines that have drawn controversy over their noise and environmental impact, Snower’s gadget is a quiet and modest 600-watt affair, working alongside a solar panel to supply a bank of four batteries. He uses it to power his electric lawn mower, the family’s laptops, phones, cameras and a small fridge.
Snower figures he saves about $10 to $15 monthly on electricity bills and is eligible for a 30 percent rebate on federal income taxes. But he intended the $5,000 investment as more of an educational tool for his teen daughters — as well as for curious passersby.
600 watts doesn’t sound like much, but if it can generate that much electricity constantly, it might reduce my household usage by around 25%. And the price – $5,000 quoted in the article, and 1/10th of the cost of the bigger units – certainly seems more do-able.
Stay tuned to see what else I can learn. This project sounds just perfect for a diary or journal for you, faithful readers!