The wind industry has outlined a pledge to provide cash benefits to communities which host wind farms.
The protocol agreed by the industry will see communities paid a minimum of £1,000 a year for each MW of power that is installed.
The average onshore wind turbine is 2.3MW − enough to power 1,400 households. The payments to the community would continue each year for the lifetime of the wind farm.
According to industry body RenewableUK, a number of communities are already benefiting from cash paid by energy companies for wind farms in their areas.
Funding is paid into community trusts which distribute the money for causes which have ranged from solar panels for sheltered housing and Christmas lunches for the elderly to country fetes and computer equipment for schools.
In some areas local residents qualify for discounts on energy bills.
The protocol also pledges companies will have early and open dialogue with local communities about having a wind farm in their area.
RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “The wind industry has voluntarily and with the full backing of key stakeholders and Government, adopted a protocol setting out what cash benefits should accrue to communities living near onshore wind farms.
“There are a number of ways communities across the UK benefit economically from onshore wind, both in terms of business and employment, but community benefits have a special role to play, as they are distributed according to the wishes of the local community itself.”