Depending on where you live, a backyard wind turbine might be a good green home technology. A backyard turbine looks similar to the ones at big wind farms, just scaled down. It uses the wind's energy to generate some of the electricity you need to power your home.
To find out if your area is a good candidate for wind power, check out the U.S. Department of Energy's wind map. You can click on your state to see more detail on wind speeds in your area. You need wind speeds of around 5 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour) or more to generate a decent amount of wind power [source: Liscano]. In windy states like Texas, home wind energy is starting to become more popular as conventional energy prices rise.
As with solar power, residential wind energy typically doesn't provide all of the electricity that you need to power your home, but it can supplement your power use and help reduce those energy bills. Unlike solar panels, however, wind turbines aren't quite so accepted. Some homeowners associations (HOA) forbid wind turbines, so make sure you check with your HOA before installing one. Turbines can be noisy, but wind turbine technology has come a long way, and there are low noise turbines on the market now [source: Bottero].