Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Run Your Electric Meter In Reverse

Imagine if you could reduce your carbon footprint, and actually get the power company to pay you. My friend Andy knows how.

I first met Andy Kruse of Southwest Windpower back in 1996 when I used his wind turbines for a project I was managing in South Africa. He hasn't lost his passion for making CO2-free energy reliable and affordable.

Andy's company recently announced a new product that allows you to feed excess electricity back to the grid.

It's called reverse metering, and it has the potential to make renewable energy a more viable option for home power generation across the developed world.

Generating electricity with wind and other renewable energy systems is a great way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. But you may not need electricity at the exact moment the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. So you either have to let that power go to waste, or buy an expensive set of batteries to store it. Either way, that's more money spent.

With reverse metering, you connect your wind turbine or solar panels to the grid, and get credit from the utility for any power you don't need. With any luck, you're not only reducing your overall carbon emissions, but might actually make a little money.

Reverse metering is still very rare in the UK, but this arrangement could really change the economics of home power. Call your electric utility today and ask them about it.