Delabole wind farm households offered discount tariff

Delabole wind farm
Image caption Householders who want to take advantage of the discounted local tariff must live within in 2km (1.2 miles) of the site

People living near the UK's first commercial wind farm in Cornwall have been offered a 20% discount if they switch electricity suppliers.

Good Energy, which owns the site at Delabole, wants to create more "positivity" about renewable energy.

An annual "windfall" bonus of £50 will also be paid if the turbines exceed their expected performance.

With tariffs comparable to the main suppliers, customers on the Delabole tariff could save about £100 a year.

A maximum of 300 households will be eligible to apply for the discounted tariff, which is due to start early next year.

'Increasingly restless'

Good Energy said the aim was to reward households near the wind farm with lower bills.

As the first of its kind, the company said the Delabole local tariff was its "blueprint" and would be replicated across the country as it developed more wind farms.

Juliet Davenport, founder and chief executive officer of Good Energy, said she was well aware communities were becoming "increasingly restless" about having renewable energy on their doorstep.

"We want to demonstrate that, actually, if you do in a slightly different way - if you involve the community in the developments - hopefully we'll get more positivity around renewable developments across the UK."

But Roy Holland from the campaign group Stop Turbines in North Cornwall said those who chose to switch Good Energy would not get back any more than they put in because taxpayers were footing the bill for the subsidies renewable energy companies received from the government.

"They'll still be paying for feed-in tariffs through bills... and why should we pay for the vast profits they earn?" he asked.

Andrew Dodwell, who is trying to stop commercial wind farms being built in Devon, said Good Energy's discount incentive "sounded like bribery" and the prospect of cheaper electricity would not persuade him to stop campaigning against wind farms.

"We're not here for the money," he said.

Last year the site, which is near Wadebridge and opened in 1991, underwent a multi-million pound redevelopment which included installing four new 99m (325ft) turbines, which replaced the existing 10 turbines, which were 50m (164ft).

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