Pensioner Dino Reardon reckons his credit crunch-beating eco-friendly home costs him just 21p a week to power with electricity.

Mr Reardon generates his juice by using a five-feet-tall wind turbine in his back garden and a series of solar panels in the roof of his home at The Grove, Skipton.

Some panels help power his lights and others provide hot water – for showers in the winter and baths in summer, when there is more sun.

The power he produces is stored in two large batteries in a powerhouse rigged up to the wiring in his kitchen.

There, a series of switches allows him to direct current to different appliances when he needs to.

And he reckons the system is virtually maintenance free.

Mr Reardon takes some power from the national grid but only enough to enable him to claim his fuel allowances as a pensioner.

His personal power station has been up and running for more than six months – long enough for him to calculate his savings.

Between June 6 and September 8 he works out the power to drive his terraced home, where he lives with his wife Olive, was 21p a week.

“You have to work with the system. I only use so much at a time to prevent the batteries from running down,” he explained.

“So if we watch television, I switch something else off. I work out what I can use, but in theory we could have everything on but it would run the batteries down quicker,” said the 77-year-old.

The champion pigeon fancier has had the wind turbine about eight years, originally buying it to power the lights in the coop.

But as he got more into saving power and living in a more eco-friendly style, he expanded the system and over the past few years has spent about £3,000 freeing himself as much as he wants from the national grid.

“It could work for everyone if they wanted to make the effort. People could save thousands of pounds,” he said.

Since setting it up, Mr Reardon has kept a diary of the wind speeds at his hill-top home where he gets strong North and West winds.

“There’s only been one day in the last seven years when there hasn’t been any wind at all. The wind turbine kicks in at 4mph and I turn it off if it gets too fast. There is also a mechanism for it to turn off itself when the batteries are fully charged.”

The word has already spread about the pensioner’s achievement and he regularly gets people knocking on his door to see what he’s done.

He said: “They can’t believe it, but it’s true. I think solar power is the future when you see how expensive oil, gas and electricity is – this type of system should be available in all homes – especially in new ones.”