On national holidays, the Mesa Electric flagpole carries a U.S. flag unfurling in the breeze.


On most days, however, a nearby pole holding a wind turbine quietly generates electrical power that is helping the Hesperia-based company reduce its utility bill.


"I hope to cut my electric bill in half," said Dale Bowen, owner of Mesa Electric.


When many people think of wind-generated power, they often envision humongous, white wind turbines littering Palm Springs-area hillsides. But the Skystream model that Mesa Electric had installed is only a fraction of the size and is designed specifically for residential use.


"It's not any more intrusive than a light pole or a flagpole," said Apple Valley Mayor Pro Tem Scott Nassif, one of several local leaders attending Wednesday's wind turbine dedication event.


In fact, one of these models may someday be installed near City Hall, according to Hesperia Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith.


"It could provide enough electricity for each building," Smith said. "And you can barely hear them turning."


While Smith envisions wind turbines figuring in Hesperia's future, he doesn't believe they will become an eyesore. The lower-profile, smaller design allows the 33-foot-high units to be more easily integrated into the scenery, and, he said, "We don't need a thousand up against a mountain ridge."


Currently the city has a 36-foot-high limit on objects like wind turbine poles.


Another selling point is that these quieter wind turbines are nonpolluting.


"I'm a full believer of green for the planet. Zero pollution comes from wind power," said George Stanford, a veteran Hesperia real estate broker and builder whose firm recently began selling Skystream products such as the wind turbine sold to Bowen.


A Skystream wind turbine costs about $17,500, but after subsidies and other rebates the price to the consumer is only about $4,000. Stanford's son-in-law Mark Smith is the lead sales agent for the Skystream product.


Kenny Marshall of Mesa Electric installed the company's new wind turbine. The wind turbine's power runs inside the pole, under the ground to a meter box next to Southern California Edison's box on the side of the Mesa Electric building. The unit doesn't start until it automatically detects winds of at least eight miles per hour.


"It hauls butt when it gets going," Marshall said. "It's actually a really efficient systems. It's doing its job, that's for sure."


In typical use at a residence, when the wind blows the home is powered in part by the wind turbine. During especially strong winds the unit can produce more than is needed. In some cases, the unit can spin backward and give credit to use later.


The Skystream unit has a capacity of 2.4kW and can provide an estimated 40 to 90 percent of a household or small business's energy needs, according to company literature.


The unit comes with a five-year warranty and has a life expectancy of 20 years, according to Stanford.


Stanford, the broker/owner of All Pro Realtors & Investments, has been a real estate fixture in Hesperia since the late 1950s. He has helped developed numerous commercial buildings in the city including the Hesperia Professional Center at 7th and Main and was responsible for the development of the Hesperia Airport 50 years ago. Decades ago he donated a building at Lime Street Park, which is now owned and operated by the Hesperia Recreation and Park District. Stanford is also a charter member of the Hesperia Kiwanis Club.


Both Nassif and Smith anticipate improvements in wind turbine technology will likely spur their cities to revisit ordinances pertaining to wind-generated power.


"Technology's changed, and we need to keep up with the technology," Nassif said.


"We need to utilize a little of our natural resources in the desert - the sun and the wind," Smith added.


For more information on the Skystream residential wind turbine products, call Mark Smith at 881-1044.