Wind Power as a Home
Alternative Energy Source

Wind as a Home Energy Solution

Although it is much less expensive to get the utility company in your area to hook up your electricity than it is to set up and install a wind turbine, looking at the long term, you can save a lot of money by harnessing the wind for your energy needs. You can get off the grid and becoming completely self sufficient. You'll never receive another electric bill and you'll still be able to have all the advantages of modern electricity and technology.  DIY kits are now available that make it easy and inexpensive to build your own wind turbine energy  generator

Electric and fuel bills are getting out of control for the consumer, while the utility companies are still seeing billion dollar profits every year. Even though the cost of using a wind turbine is zero, the cost of installing a wind turbine in your home is still pricey, unless you build one yourself.  However, I have started seeing the price of wind turbines dropping over the last couple of years as the demand for them keeps rising. There are many more commercial businesses hooking them up than has ever been seen in the past, and more and more new home owners have been looking into them as an alternate energy source for their new homes.

Awareness of Energy Consumption on the Rise

As people become more enlightened about their energy consumption, the rising fuel costs, and with the increasing concerns over global warming, more and more people are moving away from the traditional urban lifestyle with the usual energy grid connections. More than ever before people are seeking greater independence, and have the desire to live remotely or rurally without having to give up the comforts that modern technology provides..

Political concerns, such as fear of terrorist attacks on oil fields and power grids; concerns over global warming and the environment; and the desire to take back their control and money from the powerful utility monopolies, has motivated the private sector to get away from traditional energy sources.

Demand Increasing for Wind Turbine

With the demand for wind turbines increasing,  job opportunities for building and maintaining the wind turbines are increasing, while giving more businesses the ability to profit from wind turbine production. This increasing demand drives down the costs for the consumers. In 40 states, at the time of this writing, homeowners who remain on the grid but who still choose to use wind or solar energy, are eligible for rebates or tax breaks from their state governments. These states are paying for as much as 50% of the total “green” energy systems costs.

In addition, these 40 states are helping the people that have taken advantage of these tax breaks, by requiring electric companies to pay a fair price for the surplus electricity by the “net metering laws”. The rates that they are being paid by the local power companies for this energy are standard retail rates. In other words, the homeowners can actually profit from their own energy production, which in turn helps them afford the higher price of buying and installing the wind turbines.

Some federal lawmakers are pushing to get the federal government to mandate these tax breaks and other wind power incentives in all 50 states. Japan, the Netherlands, and Germany already have national incentive programs in place.

Power Company Lobbyist

Power companies are against these mandates and are now lobbying to ban the sale of personally produced power. The power companies don't want to buy back the electric power at the retail rate. At the very least, they want to pay the private owners the wholesale rate, if they have to pay anything at all. “We should [only have to] pay you the wholesale rate for ... your electricity,” according to Bruce Bowen, Pacific Gas & Electric's director of regulatory policy.  Most of this is being handled regionally by state law.

Changing Legislature

Governor David Patterson, New York, has just taken a step backwards and has recently signed into law, a bill that prohibits the sale of personal excess of electricity. More power for the electric companies and less power for the people. The power companies seem to be more worried about losing short term profits than about the long term benefits of the increased use of wind turbines or wind farms. Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies of California V. John White points out, “It's quality power that strengthens the grid.”

In Texas, Representative Gallego who had been a long time advocate of renewable energy, was recently convinced by electric companies like TXU and Reliant to amend the state net metering bill so that they only have to pay the wholesale price, which can range between zero and just 1/3 to 1/2 the retail price, minus administrative fees of their choice. In addition, the amendment caps the size of renewable energy systems to just residential systems under 10 kw. Schools, churches, and small businesses would be left out in the cold (pun intended) on buyback. Texas is, as of this writing,  the worst state in the country for it's renewable energy mandates. Go, figure..... it's  home to George W. Bush, one of the largest US stockholders of foreign (Arabian) oil.

Make your voice heard by writing to your local politicians to override the electric company lobbyist and make it a fair exchange for the sale of your excess power.

Green State Regulations

One of the most innovative states for alternative energy in the country is Louisiana. Just about a year ago, New Orleans started a subsidy the gives the residents a 50% refundable state tax credit, added to the 30% Federal tax credit that they get from the government., This gives the citizens of Louisiana the incentive of an 80%  discount to switch to an alternative energy source for their homes. This could be a very lucrative business for anyone that has the skills to build and install solar and wind power in homes.

New Jersey’s alternative energy plan is second only to California’s, which is the first in energy incentives. The state expects to produce 2% of its power from alternative energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar, by 2020. To achieve this goal, New Jersey has implemented some of the largest incentives for individuals who wish to install wind turbines and solar panels. New Jersey is supporting "net metering" incentives by allowing consumers to sell back energy to the electric companies that they produce from their homes and businesses.

On the Big Island of Hawaii, turbine wind farms where built and installed at South Point back in the 1970's and now produce 7% of the islands electricity. Since these wind turbines where installed many more have cropped up in other windy areas of the island, with DIY private home owners also installing the turbines on their property. Other Hawaiian islands have followed this trend and Hawaii is now making plans to become completely self sufficient from the expensive and dirty energy power of the mainland, while at the same time contributing to the greening of America.