My eco-friendly mother-in-law sent me a very interesting article about residential wind turbines. One company, Urban Green Energy, even makes turbines you can mount on your roof. Here in Dallas, the average wind speed is about 10-11mph, so they would work. When they’re turning, your home uses the power they create. If you aren’t using all the generated power at the time, you can store it in a special battery or sell it back to the power company. Nice, eh?
Unfortunately, at current energy prices, the payback period for us would be prohibitively long. We pay about 11.5 cents/kWh, and the mid-level Urban Green Energy turbine (about $4900 after the tax credit) would generate about 1000kWh per year, saving us $115 annually. So I doubt we’ll install them anytime soon. But if the turbine prices come down and energy prices go up, we’ll certainly keep this solution in mind.