Social and political concerns on climate change have made renewable energy an essential component of government’s work plans. Grid-connected horizontal-axis hydrokinetic turbines are promising eco-friendly power sources for electrical energy supply to households near middle-to-high discharge rivers, while providing an opportunity to sell the energy surplus. In this work, a rotor design analysis of a hydrokinetic turbine with a 1 m nominal radius is performed based on blade element momentum theory. Then, an economic analysis is presented in terms of the discounted payback period and the internal rate of return. The numerical results show that three-bladed hydrokinetic turbines with a nominal tip speed ratio of 5 and state-of-the art high lift-to-drag ratio hydrofoils (∼100) lead to maximum performance with a power coefficient around 0.45. Performance can be further improved in an affordable manner using diffuser-augmented hydrokinetic turbines. The use of hydrokinetic energy in household applications can be profitable in leading economic countries with a discounted payback period of 4–6 years. In energy developing countries, this technological solution can be cost effective accompanied by economic subsides and implementation of a local industry, resulting in similar payback periods.