Login Register

Can turbines cut my electric bill?

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 20, 2013

Comments (3)

THE Government announced the other day that new planning guidelines will give people a much greater say over wind farms in their area, shifting the balance of power to local communities.

On the other hand, households will also get a generous reduction in their energy bills if they allow wind farms to be built nearby. For some families, this could help them save up to £400 a year.

To quote Conservative Central Office: "New planning guidance will make clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. It will give greater weight to the concerns of local people about the visual impact on the landscape.

"Where local councils have identified areas suitable for wind farm projects they will not be obliged to give planning permission if they think the impact on the local area will be unacceptable.''

Wind turbines have long been a contentious issue in this county, and quite often, Cornwall Council's planning councillors have heeded the concerns of residents and turned wind farm applications down.

But what happens then? Applicants lodge an appeal and Government-appointed planning inspectors overrule the council and allow them to go ahead.

Ask residents in Withiel for instance about the number of turbine applications refused consent by Cornwall Council, but which are now rotating in their parish.

Or how about the giant turbine that is looming over Bodmin near the A30 junction. That was refused consent by the local authority, was erected anyway, and then approved on appeal by a Government planning inspector. It's all very well for the Government to tell local authorities like Cornwall Council it can refuse consent for turbines if the development has a negative impact on an area, but Eric Pickles should really have a word with his inspectors and give them new guidelines.

I'm a bit of a fence sitter when it come to turbines and solar farms, but I would support communities who don't want them near their homes.

Having said that, I have just received a whopping gas and electricity bill. Latest figures show 125,000 people in Cornwall and Devon are struggling to pay their energy bills, and I could soon join them.

The question is, how long will it take for renewable energy to reduce the amount we have to pay for electricity? Perhaps the answer is never. Certainly there is nothing on the horizon right now.

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

3 comments

  • IvorWard  |  June 22 2013, 11:17AM

    "The question is, how long will it take for renewable energy to reduce the amount we have to pay for electricity? Perhaps the answer is never. Certainly there is nothing on the horizon right now." Exactly. The answer is never. Anything that requires a 100% subsidy to even exist is never going to reduce bills. They can shift the price around and hide it but they cannot get rid of it. Listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the wind power owners when the Government suggested even a 10% cut in their pot of gold, and you know exactly what will happen when the subsidies dry up. A landscape blighted by useless crumbling and rusting industrial wind follies, and a few wind industry billionaires off in Florida looking for the next scam to line their pockets.

    Rate   5
    Report
  • IvorWard  |  June 22 2013, 11:11AM

    "On the other hand, households will also get a generous reduction in their energy bills if they allow wind farms to be built nearby. For some families, this could help them save up to £400 a year." Yes....At the same time they will lose £30,000 off the value of their house if it could be sold, which is unlikely in the shadow of a wind factory. It will only take 75 years at £400 a year to get your money back. What a good deal!

    Rate   5
    Report
  • DavidHurst  |  June 22 2013, 8:53AM

    I agree. The ability of the unelected Inspectors to overturn council decisions needs to be checked. But don't forget the cost of theses appeals. 10s of thousands are required to pay for consultants and lawyers and other professionals to fight them. This loads the system in favour of developers and energy companies that can suck up millions in subsidies... or Renewable Obligations Certifications as they are confusingly called. And then we get the bill. We pay for the energy subsidies, the consultants, the lawyers, the inspectors and the local council officials who spend months on these appeals. Is it any surprise that our energy bills and council taxes are going up? Someone needs to follow this money trail. The whole thing stinks.

    Rate   6
    Report

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES

       
       
       

      MOST POPULAR