There is a saying that, in Texas, it’s “so windy we’re using a log chain instead of a wind sock.” The adage is true: according to the [Texas] State Energy Conservation Office, the state has been the number-one wind producer in the nation for the past two years. While this isn’t the best weather for maintaining that perfectly coiffed up-do, it holds great potential for rural residents seeking to trim their electricity bills. Thanks to federal tax credits instated to promote small windmill installation, ranchers and other rural Texans who set up the wind-harnessing technology for home, business, or personal use may be able to save a pretty penny.
According to a report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the tax credit compensates 30 percent of the start-up costs of installing wind turbines. (Lower-end 1-kilowatt generators typically cost about $7,500.) The turbines reportedly trim about $50 from residents’ monthly electricity bills, and they pay for themselves in about 10 years. Moreover, recent amendments to the tax credit have removed its $4,000 cap; it appears that, well, the sky is the limit. Plus, windmills create the iconic image so often associated with the Lone Star State – right in residents’ backyards. No wonder many Texans are hopping on board.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported one Argyle resident’s response to the incentive. When he put up a low-end generator, he said that not only have his electricity bills decreased by half, but also that setting up the generator was “about as complicated as putting up a flagpole.” It seems taking advantage of the tax credit, and of the state’s ubiquitous natural resource, is a no-brainer.
The American Wind Energy Association describes tax credits for small wind systems, plus other provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, on its website.