GREEN energy company Ecotricity has hit back against a survey which shows that millions of pounds has been paid to wind farms not to produce electricity.

The National Grid has been paying electricity suppliers to reduce output on occasion for some time, however recently the issue has made the headlines as it has surfaced that a number of companies are pocketing millions to shut down their networks when there is a risk of the grid overloading.

The process of paying energy companies not to produce electricity is sometimes known as constraint payments, which are paid by the National Grid to producers in order to balance the grid when supply exceeds demand unexpectedly.

A spokesman for Stroud-based company Ecotricity, which was founded by Dale Vince in 1996, has confirmed that it has never received constraint payments.

“The constraints payments system is run by auction and the cheapest offer to turn off is always taken.

“Wind generation is a source of power that, when windy, can be turned on or off to meet consumer demands very quickly.

“As a result, because wind is often the cheapest to turn off, wind is often chosen, but crucially the overwhelming majority of constraint payments go to gas generation.”