Winds of change

Evance’s Kevin Parslow
Following utility price increase announcements, Evance’s Kevin Parslow offers an alternative to energy cost uncertainty. It’s now common sense home owners, farmers and schools to invest in a small wind turbine, locking in energy costs for 20 years

Four of the ‘big six’ UK energy firms – British Gas, npower, SSE and Scottish Power – have all announced further hikes in electricity costs – of up to 9.1 per cent. These increases will hit millions of households across theUKbefore the winter, and experience sadly shows that this won’t be the last such energy price rise. Looking at costs over the last few years, energy inflation over the last 5 years has been running at an annual average of 8.6 per cent. If this continues we will be paying 21p per kWh in five years, rising to some 72p per kWh unit in 20 years time.

Most of us feel we are at the mercy of utility company pricing, with little choice but to dig deeper into our pockets. Swapping providers or securing a fixed priced deal will only provide a temporary respite. 

Is there an alternative? I believe there is. While utility providers won’t comment on future energy price movements, the small wind turbine approach offers fixed electricity prices fortwo decades.

For those with some land and an average annual wind speed of 6 metres per second, then an investment of around £26,000 to install a small wind turbine, plus all running costs, means just 14p per kWh today and …. 14p per kWh for20 years!  Locking down electricity costs, gaining some energy security, and getting a better return on investment than currently available from a bankorbuilding society, has got to be a winning combination.

The cost of electricity for a high consumption UK home currently costs £714 a year. In just five years this could rise to £1,071 a year – that’s £90 every single month.  A small wind turbinewould generate more electricity than this house needs. These cost increases are going to be more extreme for larger electricity users such as farms and schools.

Uncertainty about rising fuel costs is leading not just to customer dissatisfaction but increased fuel poverty. Not surprisingly, those who can will continue to look foralternatives. What’s clear is that small wind is available now as a realistic alternative formany consumers who feel that energy prices are slipping beyond their control.