New local tariff could save these wind farm neighbours around £100 per year
CUSTOMERS living near Good Energy's wind farm at Delabole this week qualified for a local tariff which rewards them with lower electricity bills.
Households within 2km of the substation at the 9.2MW Delabole wind farm are now able to switch to the new tariff, which offers a 20 per cent discount on Good Energy's standard electricity prices, if they sign up by the end of February.
It will save an average Good Energy customer in the area around £100 over a year compared to the company's standard regional tariff. The tariff will also pay out a windfall credit of up to £50 per household every year that the turbines exceed their expected performance.
A special event will be held at Delabole Methodist Church from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, February 23, to provide information and support for eligible people interested in signing up. Further information is available at www.gooden ergy.co.uk/delabole-local-tariff
One of the first Delabole residents expecting to sign up is Susan Theobald, who is one of 70 people who expressed an interest in the scheme after it was announced in November.
Mrs Theobald said: "I think most people accept that renewable energy is becoming more important to our energy supply, especially with the prices of fossil fuels going up and up. And it's great to have a renewable energy company ensuring that people in the local community benefit directly from hosting a wind farm through lower bills.
"In my case Good Energy has calculated that the Local Tariff should save me around £125 on my electricity bill."
Juliet Davenport, chief exec of Good Energy, urged all those who live at Delabole and are eligible to see how much they could save. "Local people can and should have a part in the income that a wind farm generates."
Delabole was the UK's first commercial wind farm, developed by local farmer Martin Edwards as a response to plans for a nuclear power station in the area. He sold his 150-strong dairy herd and milk quota to invest in the project and it opened in 1991. Good Energy bought the wind farm in 2002 and Mr Edwards sits on the group's board
He said: "It has been a long-held ambition to be able to offer a local electricity tariff in Delabole because it's something that people have wanted, so I'm absolutely delighted that Good Energy is leading the way."
Good Energy invested £11.8 million to redevelop Delabole in 2010, replacing the original ten turbines with four larger ones and more than doubling capacity from 4MW to 9.2MW.
The future of onshore wind has been hotly debated with the Government keen to explore how communities secure financial, social and environmental benefits from hosting onshore wind farms.
Communities become more supportive when they benefit directly from local wind farms.
At Delabole, Good Energy held two consultations before the redevelopment where local residents voted to have a smaller number of big turbines rather than a larger number of small ones.