Energy boss backs lower bills for those near wind farms

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Energy boss Greg Jackson has said people living near wind farms – such as in Scotland – should pay less for their electricity.

The founder and chief executive of Octopus said it was “crazy” that the electricity price was the same across the UK.

His firm already offers a discount on bills for people living near wind farms, and this has led to lots of local interest in their construction, he said.

New Chancellor Rachel Reeves set out plans on Monday to boost onshore wind farms.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Mr Jackson said his company had recently offered people living near turbines a discount on their electricity: 20% when it was windy, and 50% when it was “very windy”.

The discounts were offered to customers in Caerphilly in South Wales and Halifax and Weighton in Yorkshire.

Some 30,000 individuals and communities in the UK have contacted Octopus since 2021 asking for a turbine to be built near them, the company said.

Mr Jackson called for “real reform of markets”, adding that the more people were able to use locally generated electricity, the longer it would be possible to hold off or avoid building new transmission lines to move the energy around.

Analysis from the think tank Carbon Tracker suggested that wasted wind power added about £40 to household energy costs, directly and indirectly, in 2023.

This is because when it is very windy, the grid cannot handle the extra power generated. Wind farms are paid to switch off and gas-powered stations are paid to fire up, or electricity is imported, and the cost is passed on to consumers.

https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cj509yg9n3qo,

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