Wind power lowers impact on the planet and the piggy bank

Wind power lowers impact on the planet and the piggy bank

In our series “In Action," the opportunities and benefits of personal wind turbines are shared through customer testimonials and regional case studies.

For Robert Hall and Maureen McGee of Flagstaff, Ariz., Skystream is an investment, not just in their own long-term energy savings, but in a more positive future.

“I believe the payback can’t be measured just in our electric bill,” says Robert. “One of the things that people often ask us is 'what is the return on your investment for buying a wind turbine?'”

Robert’s answer is more complex than a simple number.

Robert and Maureen’s 1,500 square-foot home runs on a combination of gas and electric appliances. Though they used a modest amount of electricity, the couple agreed the time was right to pursue renewable energy. After incentives, their turbine cost just $4,750.

“Electricity rates have gone up since we’ve had the wind turbine,” Robert says. “Before the turbine, our electricity costs were around $50-60 per month. With the wind turbine, so far through the winter, we’ve been averaging about $25-30.”

Robert estimates a seven to 10 year payback based on current electric prices and the cost to install the turbine, but for Robert and Maureen, cutting dependence on the electric grid means much more.

Robert cites the polluting effects and safety risks of coal mining, such as the recent collapse of a mine shaft in West Virginia that killed 29 workers, as reasons to cut their dependence on the electric grid that is powered largely by coal.

Something else has happened to this couple after they plugged in to the wind. “It has made us very conscious of the use of every electrical appliance,” says Maureen. “I charge Rob one dollar every time he leaves a light on when he leaves the room,” she says jokingly. “We’re very conscious now asking ourselves ‘What is a kilowatt hour? What does that turn into on your bill? What are you leaving on?’”

“When we first got it, I didn’t think Robert was going to go to work again, because he sat in front of it all day long watching Skyview,” Maureen states, referring to the Skystream wireless communications and monitoring software. “It gives all the information we want. It tells us our carbon offset, and that’s a cool figure. We turn it on almost every day so we know what we are generating.”

They had a great experience with the local authorized Skystream dealer, Absolute Wind Power. .htmlThe dealer helped with building permits and made the process easy. “They explained what they were doing every step of the way,” Robert says.

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