Energy chief backs calls for lower bills for people near wind farms

Greg Jackson (Octopus Energy)

THE founder and boss of Octopus Energy has backed calls for lowering energy bills for people near wind farms.

The energy firm already offers a discount for people living near wind developments.

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Greg Jackson said his company offered people living near turbines a discount of 20% when it was windy and 50% when it was “very windy”.

The firm also said that around 30,000 individuals and communities in the UK in the UK have contacted them asking for a turbine to be built near their home.

All discounts offered thus far have been to customers in Caerphilly, Wales and Halifax and Weighton, both in Yorkshire.

Mr Jackson added that when it’s windy in Scotland, instead of paying wind farms to turn off, “we give Scottish people cheap or free electricity at those times”.

Currently, when it is ‘very windy’ and the grid is full, wind farms are paid to switch off.

Gas-powered stations are then paid to fire up, or more electricity is imported, with the costs of that being passed on to the consumer.

The entrepreneur has called for regional pricing of electricity, which he claims would avoid or delay building new transmission lines to move energy around.

He added that it’s “absolutely outrageous…[that] at the times we are turning the wind farms off in Scotland, we are importing electricity from Norway into Scotland”.

He added that regional pricing would make “every region cheaper than it is now”.

“Data centres wouldn’t be queueing up, waiting 10 years to be built in Slough or going overseas – they would be setting up in Scotland, and they’d have the cheapest electricity in Europe.”

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