If you are looking to reduce your energy bills then you may be interested in domestic wind turbines.
While finding a budget-friendly energy tariff through an energy comparison is the first thing many of us will do when looking to power our home more cost effectively, it’s also worth considering how we go about doing so.
Opting for a more energy efficient option can be effective if you are hoping to not only reduce your bills but protect the environment too. Here we look at what household wind turbines are and if they are worth it.
While the energy price cap has just been cut, and energy prices generally are lower than they were, the truth is that bills are still very high and may be putting your household budgets under pressure. So also see our round-up of the help available if you need support with your gas and electricity bills.
What are domestic wind turbines?
Domestic wind turbines are basically smaller versions of the large wind turbines you may have seen in fields across the UK, or by the coast.
Also known as home or household wind turbines, they convert wind into clean energy which you can use across your home – much like solar panels do with the sun.
How do domestic wind turbines work?
The turbines rely on the force of the wind, which blows the blades of the turbine. This movement powers a generator, which turns the kinetic energy of the spinning of the turbine blades into electricity.
This electricity can then be used to power your home, such as your heating or your appliances.
It’s important to bear in mind that as domestic wind turbines have to be quite small by comparison with traditional wind turbines, they will not capture as much energy.
There are two main types of domestic wind turbine:
- Roof-mounted wind turbines sit on your roof in much the same way as solar panels might. They can be installed if there is a suitable wind resource.
- Standalone turbines, also known as pole-mounted or free-standing turbines, are set up on your land away from the main property. They generate more power than the smaller roof-mounted turbines. They tend to be more suitable if you have a large amount of space available to you.
How much do domestic wind turbines cost?
The costs of a domestic wind turbine will vary based on the type of wind turbine you’re gong for.
The larger and more powerful the domestic wind turbine you opt for, the more costly the installation is likely to be.
Here’s how the average costs look for the various forms of domestic wind turbines according to CheckaTrade. Bear in mind that these are ballpark figures, so you may find that the cost of your individual needs are rather different.
Type of domestic wind turbine
Typical installation costs
1kW (roof mounted)
1.5 kW (free-standing)
2.5 kW (free-standing)
5 kW (free-standing)
10 kW (free-standing)
15 kW (free-standing)
There will also be maintenance costs to bear in mind. According to the Energy Saving Trust, maintenance checks need to be carried out every couple of years and are likely to set you back up to £200.
If the turbine is well looked after, it should last for more than 20 years, but the Energy Saving Trust suggests that at some stage during this time you may need to replace the inverter. This is likely to cost up to £2,000 for a larger system.
Then there are the batteries, which off-grid systems can use to store the energy generated and then use on non-windy days. The Energy Saving Trust says these likely need replacing every six to 10 years, though the costs will vary depending on what sort of system you have in place.
Will a domestic wind turbine save me money on my energy bill?
The impact of a domestic wind turbine on your energy bill will depend on how windy it is around your home.
The more blustery it gets, the more power the domestic wind turbine will be able to generate. This then means you are less reliant on energy from other sources, resulting in a lower energy bill.
By contrast, if you live somewhere which is not particularly breezy then the domestic wind turbine will not have much of an opportunity to generate power. As a result it won’t have much impact, if any, on the size of your energy bills.
The type of domestic wind turbine you opt for will also have a big difference on the impact on your energy bill.
Smaller domestic wind turbines, which can be mounted on your roof, tend to be less powerful and therefore generate less energy from wind. As a result they may have only a minimal impact on the size of your energy bill.
Larger domestic wind turbines, which ae freestanding, are more powerful and so have the potential to make a bigger difference to your energy bills.
How much money will I save on my energy bills with a domestic wind turbine?
As well as the type of domestic wind turbine you opt for, another factor in how much you will save is the ‘Smart Export Guarantee’. This scheme ensures small scale generators, such as households with domestic wind turbines or solar panels, are paid for the electricity they make that they export back to the grid.
Different suppliers will offer their own rates under the tariffs they run through the smart energy guarantee, so just like when you do a standard energy comparison to switch tariff, it’s important you shop around to see how much you can get with the SEG scheme.
Here’s how some of those rates vary between different suppliers (as of 6 October 2023):
|Supplier||SEG tariff||Rate/kWh||Type of tariff||When are you paid|
|Octopus Energy||Outgoing Agile||Average 16p (the rate changes in line with wholesale price)||Variable||Monthly|
|E.on Next||Next Export||16.5p or 3p (get its best rate if it installs your panels)||Fixed for 12 months||Annually (You can request four payments a year)|
|Octopus Energy||Outgoing Fixed||15p or 4.1p (get the top rate if it supplies your energy)||Fixed for 12 months||Monthly|
|Scottish Power||SmartGen||15p or 12p (get its best rate if it installs||Variable||Every six months|
|Octopus Energy||Outgoing Fixed Lite||8p (You need to be on the Octopus Go Tariff)||Fixed for 12 months||Monthly|
|British Gas||Export & Earn Flex||15p or 6.4p (get the top rate if it already supplies your energy)||Variable||Every three months|
|EDF Energy||Export Variable Value||5.6p or 3p (get the top rate if it supplies your energy)||Variable||Every three months|
|Utility Warehouse||UW Smart Export Guarantee||5.6p or 2p (get top rate if you have 2 or more services with Utility warehouse)||Variable||Every three months|
|Pozitive Energy||SEG tariff||5p||Variable||Every six months|
|So Energy||So Export Flex||20p or 7.5p (Get top rate if you buy and have installed So Energy's solar panels and battery)||Variable||May be monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly|
|Ovo Energy||Ovo SEG Tariff||20p or 4p (Get top rate if you have a smart meter, OVO is your energy supplier and it installed your panels)||Fixed for 12 months||Every three months|
|Shell Energy||SEG V1.1 Tariff||3.5p||Variable||Annually|
|SSE||Smart Export Tariff||3.5p||Variable||Annually|
|Utilita||Smart Export Guarantee||3p||Variable||Every three months|
It’s up to you to pick which tariff to go to, and therefore how much you can get paid for generating energy through your domestic wind turbine.
You could save almost £500 on energy bills
Calculations from the Energy Saving Trust suggest that a well-sited 6kW turbine can generate around 9,000kWh of electricity per year, which translates into a saving of around £490 a year on your electricity bills. Of course, the actual savings may be different for you based on your own circumstances and energy usage.
Best home wind turbine kits in the UK: generate green energy to help reduce your energy bills
There is plenty of choice when it comes to home wind turbine kits, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing one for your property.
For example, while there is a range of different domestic wind turbines for sale through Amazon, it’s a good idea to check the reviews both on the site and elsewhere to get a better idea of how reliably they perform.
Do I need planning permission to install a domestic wind turbine?
You may need to get planning permission if you want to have a domestic wind turbine installed on your property, though this will depend on your location as well as the size of the turbine being installed.
If you are in England and having a standalone or roof-mounted turbine installed then you likely won’t need permission so long as it is less than 11.1 metres in height. You can check the full criteria on the Planning Portal website.
In Scotland you will definitely need planning permission for roof-mounted turbines, while you will need to submit an application for approval to your local planning authority for standalone turbines.
It’s a similar situation in Wales, where you will need permission for roof-mounted turbines, while in Northern Ireland you need permission for any type of domestic wind turbine.
If you aren’t sure whether you are going to need permission or not, it’s important to speak to your local planning authority to clarify where you stand.
The pros and cons of domestic wind turbines
It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of domestic wind turbines before you opt to have one installed in your home.
The pros of domestic wind turbines
- Environmentally friendly way of generating energy
- Has potential to reduce cost of your energy spending in the future
- Could improve attractiveness of your property when the time comes to sell
The cons of domestic wind turbines
- High installation costs
- Require significant land if you want to have a free-standing domestic wind turbine
- Will not generate much energy if you do not live in a windy area
- Reliant on you signing up for suitable Smart Energy Guarantee in order to get best return from the energy you generate.
Want more tips to save on your energy bill and go green?
We’re a range or guides that can help. See:
– How do solar panels work for your home?
– How much do solar panels cost and are they worth it?
– What is an air source heat pump and how do they work?
– How to save money on energy bills: top tips for how to use less gas and electricity in your home
– What is renewable energy? How green energy tariffs and suppliers work
– Energy comparison: find the best gas and electricity deals for you