Money Matters Team

Getting wind of green energy

By Money Matters Team 08/02/2013

Could you save money with wind energy?

Saving with wind energy...

An increasing number of homeowners are making green living a priority to help reduce their carbon footprint and potentially save money on energy bills. As technology advances, wind turbines are becoming a more popular method to wring energy from the breeze and according to the National Geographic; "smaller turbines erected in a backyard can produce enough electricity for a single home or small business." But just how feasible is installing a wind turbine in your home?


The cost of the system depends on the size of the turbine and the mounting method you choose. You can learn more about the different mounting methods on the Energy Savings Trust's website.

According to the Trust a wind turbine which you can mount on a building will be cheaper to install than a free standing one. For example, a roof-mounted 1kW micro wind system will typically cost £2000, whereas a free standing, pole mounted 2.5kW system will typically cost £15,000.
Although you may save money with lower energy costs in the long run you are still likely to be faced with the initial cost. Whether you plan to use savings or consider a personal loan, is a good place to start looking for help with funding and has a list of current grants that may be available.


Energy suppliers may pay for each unit of electricity you generate

Under a ‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT), some energy suppliers may pay you for each unit (kilowatt hour or kWh) of electricity you generate.

The Energy Savings Trust says that although a building-mounted turbine may tend to produce slightly less electricity per kW than a free standing one, a well-sited 6kW turbine can generate around 10,000kWh per year, generating income, if eligible for Feed-In Tariffs, of around £3,200. advises that home owners can also sell any extra units they don’t use back to their electricity supplier under the Feed-in tariff. This is called an ‘export tariff’.  Rates can be 4.5p per unit of electricity for wind energy where you applied for FIT on or after 1 December 2012. If you applied before these dates, rates remain at 3.2p for each unit of electricity.

Planning permission

Planning portal provides information regarding planning permission for the installation of domestic wind turbines in England and Wales. In Scotland the laws are different so always check with your local planning authority.

Home insurance

You may also want to check with your home insurance provider to find out whether a free standing or building-mounted turbine would be covered under your policy.

Cleaner and greener

Tapping into a green energy source is a great way to do your bit for the environment.  After all, wind energy is green and renewable, and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. You may even find yourself looking at solar panels next…

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.