Personal Finance

Households close to new pylons to get £10,000 off bills to speed up EV delivery

People living near electricity pylons will receive up to £10,000 off their bills in new plans.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hopes the move will reduce planning objections and speed up the delivery of new electricity networks, needed to roll out electric vehicle charging points.

Wind and solar farms struggle to connect to power lines as the infrastructure desperately needs updating.

Mr Hunt wants to halve the time it takes to build new electricity transmission lines, which are seen as essential in the move to net zero by 2050.

The electricity bill discount would be worth up to £1,000 a year for 10 years. It is not clear how close a home needs to be to qualify, or who would pay for the discount. Critics argue the plans would mainly help wealthy residents living in rural areas.

Jonathan Bean, of Fuel Poverty Action told the Daily Express: “It’s pretty crazy that some wealthy people in huge homes in the countryside could get a big discount when we’re seeing some people forced to turn off their heating or forced to go to food banks.”

Low carbon infrastructure will be designated a "critical national priority", putting pressure on local planning officers to pass plans.

New planning laws would also be introduced to create a 'premium' planning service to allow major infrastructure applications to be prioritised for a fee.

Matt Copeland, head of policy at fuel poverty campaign group National Energy Action, said: "It's only right that those affected by pylons are compensated - but this is not a substitute for the UK Government supporting vulnerable people with their sky-high energy bills."

The plans form part of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement.

A Treasury source said expanding the power grid would "unlock global investment for Britain and bring improvements for people across the country, with energy security that will keep energy costs down".

They added: "By speeding up the planning system - including the rollout of EV charge points - we will be tackling one of the most common issues raised by businesses who are keen to invest in the UK."

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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