Local councils to keep 100 per cent of shale gas business rates, PM reveals

Millions of pounds in business rates will find their way to the treasuries of local councils which decide to give the green-light to shale gas developments, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has just revealed.

In a bid to boost support for shale gas fracking across the country, the PM revealed that this commitment could be worth up to £1.7 million a year for a typical site, and would be directly funded by central government.

Furthermore, beside getting more funding for local authorities, fracking would also bring about additional benefits for local people. The industry announced that local communities would receive £100,000 when a test well is fracked – and a further 1 per cent of revenues if shale gas is discovered, which could be worth £5 to £10 million for a typical producing site over its lifetime.

Members of the industry have recently confirmed that fracking companies would further consult on how this money can best be shared with the local community, with options including direct cash payments to people living near the site, plus the setting up of local funds directly managed by local communities.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “A key part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future is to back businesses with better infrastructure. That’s why we’re going all out for shale. It will mean more jobs and opportunities for people, and economic security for our country.

“Shale gas represents a huge economic opportunity for the UK with research from the Institute of Directors showing investment could reach £3.7 billion a year and support 74,000 jobs in the oil, gas, construction, engineering and chemicals sectors. The industry will today set out proposals on how best to secure a role for UK companies as part of its supply chain as shale gas production develops in the UK.”

Despite these very generous new allowances, it’s still not clear whether extensive shale gas exploration will actually manage to drive down gas prices, so the installation of an energy management system that will enable users to optimize their energy expenditure and save money in the process remains the best option for any company.

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