Birmingham City Council has announced its plans to install photovoltaic solar panels on 10,000 council houses. According to reports in the Guardian, the council agreed last week to set the ball rolling on the £100m project.

The plan will go ahead under the Birmingham Energy Savers programme, which is aimed at helping the city to deliver on the target contained in its Declaration on Climate Change, which sets out plans to retrofit 10% of homes with renewable technology by 2015 and cut carbon dioxide emissions 60% by 2026. If this plan goes ahead, Birmingham could see free solar power provided to some of the poorest areas in the city, saving a typical family household hundreds of pounds a year on their fuel bills through the feed in tariff scheme.

“Birmingham Energy Savers offers a fantastic opportunity for residents and businesses to cut carbon pollution, and save themselves thousands of pounds by reducing future bills,” said Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council. “It will significantly improve the lives of people in Birmingham, setting a green standard beyond that of any city in the world.”

According to the Guardian, commercial banks will provide half the up-front investment for the scheme, supplemented by £25m from the energy companies and £25m borrowed by the council. Households taking part in the scheme will have to pay a levy on their energy bills to repay the initial loan, but any increase in energy bills will be offset by the savings provided from the solar energy they use.

As well as saving energy and money for residents, the project is also expected to boost training opportunities, protect jobs and support the growth of green businesses in the city.