Energy bill discounts for people who live near wind farms could be used to boost renewable power

Families living near windfarms may get discounts on their energy bills under Government plans to encourage more renewable electricity.

Boris Johnson is planning to publish the UK’s energy security strategy next week in a bid to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

The strategy will be presented as a way to bring down energy costs in the medium and long term after a political backlash against Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told i this week that onshore wind is likely be an increased part of the UK’s future energy supply and the Prime Minister promised to overtake China as the world’s biggest supplier of wind power.

A senior Government source confirmed that ministers are looking at a proposal to give people reduced bills if they agree to the construction of a new wind farm near where they live.

The scheme would be based on an existing programme operated by the energy firm Octopus, which gives customers living near its turbines a discount of up to 50 per cent on their electricity. The company is hoping to build five new wind turbines by the end of this year after receiving hundreds of expressions of interest.

As well as the expansion of onshore and offshore wind, the energy strategy will lay out plans to build new nuclear power stations and drill for more oil and gas in the North Sea. It is not expected to overturn the current ban on fracking for shale gas.

Who will get the £150 council tax rebate in Scotland, and who is eligible for supportWho will get the £150 council tax rebate in Scotland, and who is eligible for support24 March, 2022

The Government is under growing pressure to explain how it plans to help households with the cost of living after criticism of the Chancellor for failing to offer help for the poorest Britons in his Spring Statement this week.

Mr Sunak announced a reduction in national insurance that takes 2.2 million workers out of paying the levy altogether but did not increase the rate of universal credit, meaning those dependent on the benefit will see a significant cut in real terms as their income grows slower than the rate of inflation.

At a Cabinet meeting shortly before the statement on Wednesday, policing minister Kit Malthouse and Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg both called on the Chancellor to cut public spending in order to drive down taxes while avoiding a spike in borrowing.

A new YouGov survey found that Mr Sunak’s approval ratings with the public have fallen to -15, their lowest level since he took office, although he remains more popular than any other high-profile Westminster politician.

By Hugo Gye, Madeleine Cuff