Buying a wind turbine should be as easy as buying a sofa – Minister

The public should be able to buy their own wind turbines on the never-never, to take the financial sting out of their installation, according to the Government Minister responsible for climate change issues.

According to Ian Pearson, MP, one of the main obstacles blocking a wider take-up of microgeneration is the initial cost.

While installing a turbine of solar panels might save home owners money in the long-term, the original outlay is prohibitive for many and off-putting even for the wealthy.

To counter this, said the Environment Minister this week, energy companies, high street banks and consumer finance companies should develop low-cost finance schemes to help boost take-up of household microgeneration.

Getting finance for a turbine, said the Minister, should be as easy as getting finance for a sofa.

“The Government’s recent microgeneration strategy, published by the DTI, highlighted the high up-front cost as a barrier to greater take-up of household wind turbines and solar panels,” he said.

“Everywhere you look these days, there are adverts for sofas, electric goods and kitchens – all offering interest free credit or easy long-term loans. Yet, there are no such offers for microgeneration.

“I passionately believe that it should be as easy to get finance for a wind turbine as it is for a sofa. This could be through credit or loans, or it could be an energy service contract with the cost rolled up with a customer’s energy bills. Green mortgages or long-term leasing are other options that could be taken up.

“My challenge today to the high street banks and consumer finance companies, energy suppliers and others is to work with the microgeneration companies to come up with new, innovative offerings.”

Speaking at the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy Conference in London, Mr Pearson said:

“As well as being a very visible, iconic measure, microgeneration can play a key role both to reduce carbon emissions and as a tool to engage people and help them become energy-aware consumers.”

Sam Bond

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