Communities could be offered lower energy bills to host onshore wind farms

Communities will be offered benefits such as the potential for lower energy bills if they support onshore wind farms in their area under Government proposals.

The Government announced the launch of a consultation on Thursday into proposals that aim to place communities at the centre of decisions around onshore wind farm developments.

The consultation will look into adding community benefits, such as energy bill discounts, to the range of reward schemes that onshore developers currently offer host communities.

The Government said these benefits would be agreed between developers and communities on a case-by-case basis.

The approach would provide local authorities with more flexibility to respond to the views of their local communities on onshore wind, the Government said.

The proposals come as an addition to reward schemes already offered by developers to areas that agree to have onshore wind farms locally, including locals holding a stake in a turbine so they can profit from the site’s operation and funding for electric vehicle charging points or new recreation facilities in the community.

Graham Stuart, minister of state for energy and net zero, said: “Onshore wind is a vital part of our plans to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy.

“It is right that new developments have the support of host communities, and that local people benefit directly from it, such as through either a discount on their energy bills or other significant community benefits.

“Our proposals will ensure developers and local residents can work together more efficiently to maximise community benefits for supportive communities while delivering the clean and secure energy the country needs.”

“We have a long track record of working closely with communities to ensure that they decide what form these benefits will take, depending on the needs and priorities of local people.

“Building strong relationships with local communities as early as possible is the best way to establish successful partnerships which last for decades.

“Alongside much-needed planning reforms, this consultation provides an opportunity to increase the amount of cheap clean power we can generate for consumers as well as strengthening our nation’s energy security.”

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