Saturday, 11 November 2006

Reduce What You Can - Right From Your Rooftop

Today I joined men across the country in a time honoured tradition - wandering the aisles of my local B&Q home improvement store.

Their latest offering is a small rooftop wind turbine. "Generate Your Own Renewable Energy!" reads the sign over the in-store display.

This is great news - a way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and reduce your dependence on the electric grid. Here's how:

The B&Q wind turbine can generate 1,000 watts of power, but the wind doesn't blow that regularly in most places. Over the course of a year it might average a fifth of this. The list price is £1498, and the brochure claims you may be eligible for a 30% subsidy. So here's how the numbers work out:

At average UK electricity rates, the turbine will cut your electricity bill by £100 a year, and reduce CO2 emissions by 0.75 tonnes, 14% of your household total. That's a great start on the way to a low-carbon economy. And the money you save is enough to offset your remaining CO2 emissions with cash left for a night out on the town.