SPEAKER: IE Questions. Your energy questions answered. This question comes from
one of our audience members. What size wind generator
does an average house need? It’s a great question. Recently, small wind generation
capacity has grown in the US from a total of about
eight megawatts in 2004 to 140 megawatts in 2014. A small wind generator can cut
a customer’s electricity bill by anywhere from 50% to 90%. But unfortunately,
it’s not for everyone. If you live in the
middle of the city, you don’t have much room for a
turbine or access to good wind. So does a turbine it makes
sense for your house? First, you need at least
an acre of property. Second, do you have enough wind? The Department of Energy
says small wind generators start to make sense with an
annual average wind speed of about 10 miles per hour. But you don’t need
to spend a year measuring wind speeds at home. The Department of Energy
publishes maps of average wind speed across the country. At 100 feet, which
is the minimum height you’ll need to
build your turbine. If you’re in the light
green or warmer colors, you might be a good candidate. Those estimates aren’t perfect. Even at 100 feet, tall
trees might get in the way. Your turbine will need
to rise above them. But even if you have
the space and the wind, will a wind generator
actually save you money? If you’re paying at least $100
to $150 a month for electricity or about 12 cents
a kilowatt hour, then it’s probably worth it. Finally, you’ll need to check
local zoning regulations. Many local governments
require special permission to build 100 foot tall turbines. If you checked all
the boxes, now it’s time to answer our
audience questions. What size wind generator
does an average house need? And actually, this
is the easiest part. A dealer can help you
find a turbine that’s the right size for your needs. But in general, a 10
kilowatt generator is sufficient for
the average home. Do you have more questions about
wind power, power in your home, or any other energy topic? Ask us. Go to ask.insideenergy.org. [MUSIC PLAYING]