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Wind farm pylons will cost every home £88 as part of £22bn project to link them to national grid

Every home will pay £88 to build a vast network of pylons in a £22billion project to link wind farms to the national grid.

Bills will start to rise next year under the controversial plans revealed by industry regulator Ofgem yesterday.

An average of £11 will be added annually for eight years, making £88 in total on top of any other increases.

The scheme is part of a £200billion programme to switch to ‘green’ energy and build nuclear power stations to meet targets to cut carbon emissions.

This wider scheme will also be funded by higher bills for families and businesses. The network of pylons is expected to trigger disputes amid fears that beautiful views will be destroyed.

Ofgem has said £470million should be set aside to bury cables in sensitive areas, such as national parks.

However, this is an expensive option and the sum allocated is unlikely to be enough to protect all important views.

The pylon project includes new undersea cables between England and Scotland, and Kent and the Continent as well as improvements to the existing cable network.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at comparison website, uSwitch.com, warned customers to expect more increases in bills.

She said: ‘The average household energy bill today is £1,252 a year so it’s not hard to see why an £11 increase will hurt consumers’ pockets.

‘Already over a third of consumers say that household energy is unaffordable, while more than eight in ten rationed their energy use last winter because of cost.
‘Consumers should see this announcement as an early indication of where their fuel bills will be heading over the next few years.’

The pylon programme will be carried out by the National Grid, which had wanted even bigger rises in bills to pay for the work and enable it to make a profit.

The company said the budget should have been £31billion, which would have meant £124 more per home over eight years.

Last week, a report from official advisers warned that UK industry will become more uncompetitive as soaring green energy taxes make its bills higher than foreign rivals.