By Wyatt Goolsby
ANDREWS - While many West Texans are "sweating it out" about higher electric bills, one Andrews man said he saves hundreds of dollars a month on his power bill. How does he do it? He uses the one thing you can really count on in West Texans: the Wind.
"It saves us a lot of money it, it's done what I hoped it would do," Andrews resident Bob Stewart, who uses wind power in his home, said.
It stands 34 feet tall and can produce up to 1500 kilowats per month. For Stewart, who lives just north of the city of Andrews, the wind turbine he installed has been a steady power supply for the past four years.
"When [my wife] and I built this house, my thought process was I know what it cost to power this home today, what's it going to cost 20 years from now?" asked Stewart. "What can I do to build in while I build this home to make it more cost efficient?"
The answer? The extra insulation in his house as well as a device like the wind turbine to help generate some power. All in all, Stewart estimates he saves more than 200 dollars a month on his electric bill.
"[The wind turbine] has never caused a malfunction one time, it's pretty nice I mean, my lights don't dim, my lights don't flicker, we don't have any power failure issues, my computers don't reset, it's not an issue at all," Stewart added.
The faster the wind speed, the more energy the turbine can create, but a give-and-take plan with his electric company helps to make that easier.
"If we're producing more than we use we will send it back up the grid, it'll spin my meter backwards, and it goes up the grid. The upside of the net meter is if I give them 15 cents a kilowatt hour power that I've used they're giving me 15 cents a kilowatt hour for the power that I generate," Stewart said.
And while not every part of his home is powered by wind, Stewart said some items run completely on it.
From the lights on the desk, to common electronics like a television or computer, everything in this room is powered by that wind turbine just outside.
"As you can see, it makes for a nice wind," Stewart said.