Small wind turbines have great potential to serve increasing demand for energy generation while being a cost-effective solution for commercial and residential end-users. However, several obstacles have hindered greater use of small wind turbines. Performance specifications are not standardized, and manufacturer reports are optimistic and inconsistent. Consumers do not have user-friendly tools to compare turbines or accurately estimate energy performance. Consumers and agencies providing financial incentives need greater assurance of safety, functionality and durability to justify investments. These needs soon will be better met when the Small Wind Certification Council begins a certification program for small wind turbines.