They call them “small wind”or urban turbines.
They’re generators with a capacity of 100 kilowatts or less. They go on rooftops, next to houses, in the parking lots of small businesses, you name it.
The upfront cost can be a little startling: $8,000 for a 1 kw Bergey, for instance.
But the federal stimulus package allows homeowners to get a 30 percent tax credit on that purchase ($2,400 for an $8,000 investment), which can lessen the blow.
The American Wind Energy Association says the federal credit promises to blow the lid off the small wind market in the United States, growing it by up to 50 percent annually.
And think about it. Once you get one of these up, you’re generating your own juice.
Net metering laws also can allow you to get credit for power you generate but don’t use.
These small spinners are bound to stimulate conversation among your neighbors and house guests, too.
The U.S. Department of Energy also has a small wind consumer’s guide.