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Cheaper power on offer to villagers

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

WIND POWER: Juliet Davenport at the Delabole wind farm

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RESIDENTS of a North Cornwall village, which is the home of Britain's first wind farm, are waiting to hear details of how they can get cheaper electricity.

Around 400 existing and new customers who live within 2km of Good Energy's Delabole 9.2 megawatt wind farm could save more than £110 a year with a 20 per cent discount.

The discount was announced at Delabole on Monday when Good Energy's chief executive Juliet Davenport said: "It is only right that our local communities should be recognised for their contribution to tackling climate change and reducing the UK's reliance on imported fossil fuels."

Sue Theobald, who lives just two fields away from the wind farm, said she would be looking into the details of the offer.

"I have always thought the best incentive for people to use green energy was cheaper prices.

"I feel that people living in close proximity to wind turbines would be more sympathetic to this form of renewable energy if they were to gain some advantage from it, such as a favourable local tariff."

Delabole parish councillor Lance Rose said: "I'm interested in saving money, but it depends on how it compares to other suppliers. We have never had any problem with the Delabole wind farm, we just object to piecemeal development scattered all over the place.

"The turbines should all be in one place like here, where it also benefits the local population."

While company chiefs hailed the offer as the country's first local electricity tariff, critics of wind farms said they were suspicious of the move.

Karen Briggs, treasurer of STINC – Stop Turbines in North Cornwall – who are currently preparing to oppose a big wind farm application at Davidstow, described it as bribery to stifle opposition to an extension of the wind farm.

"Once people have accepted the reduction in tariff they won't have the right to complain when the owners put in an application to build more turbines.

"These companies don't give something for nothing," she said.

The tariff will be brought in early next year at the site, which became the country's first commercial wind farm when it opened in 1991.

If more electricity is generated than expected residents and customers will also qualify for an annual bonus of up to £50 per household.

The new tariff aims to respond to calls from the Government for wind farms to do more to reward the communities that host them.

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