Tribune: Your own personal wind turbine

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides for a number of energy efficient tax rebates, including tax credits for individuals who purchase clean fuel vehicles and make energy efficient upgrades to their home. But exactly what are some of these energy-efficient properties listed as qualifying for the credits?

Biomass stove:1 Biomass stoves burn biomass fuel to heat a home or heat water. Biomass fuel includes agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood waste and residues (including wood pellets), forest debris, plants, grasses, residues, and fibers. The organic matter is pressed into pellets that are fed into the stove from a hopper. The pellets produce a clean burn, but there can be issues with creosote buildup and emissions if the pellets aren’t burned properly. Biomass stoves typically cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

Geothermal heat pump:2 These devices have been in use since the 1940s and use the constant temperature below ground to exchange heat with the earth when the air above is colder than the ground (they are also used to cool air in the hot summer months). Underground temperatures stay at around 50 degrees all year. The heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to create warmth; it moves existing heat from one place to another. They don’t burn gas or oil to operate and they use less electricity than other heating/cooling systems. A geothermal heating and cooling system can cost between $12,000 to $45,000 depending on the type of system installed.

Small wind energy:3 This is what it sounds like: a tiny, personal wind turbine. These turbines have blades that are between 5 and 12 feet and they produce between 500 watts and 10 kilowatts of power. To start generating electricity, small turbines have to reach a wind speed of about 8.9 mph. Residential wind turbines with outputs of 2–10 kilowatts cost between $12,000 and $55,000 installed, and usually pay for themselves in energy savings in 5 to 12 years.