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Domestic fuel cells to slash energy bills

Fuel cell
Toshiba also has some much smaller fuel cells in development

As the world's supply of fossil fuels shrinks, it's heartening to see one company pressing ahead with serious plans for alternative ways to power our homes.

Toshiba announced this week that it will commercialise domestic fuel cells for apartment buildings by 2013. It says they will be deployed first in Japan (where else?) for around ¥2.5 million (£18,600).

Wallet impact

Naturally, the company needs a compelling way to convince apartment owners to install the cells, so it has outlined their financial impact, saying the initial cost can be recouped through energy bill savings in about 16 years.

If the new energy source does well, Toshiba estimates it will be able to slash the cost through economies of scale and reduce that pay-back period to about four years before long.