Wind turbines and solar panels will be installed free of charge in more than 300 Birmingham houses in a unique council drive to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
Victorian houses in Edgbaston are to be transformed into the country's first "eco neighbourhood", where residents can generate their own power and sell any surplus capacity to the National Grid.
The #550,000 cost is being met by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund – a Government allocation of money designed to help deprived communities. The council cabinet yesterday approved NRF spending plans for 2006/07, which include the introduction of solar panels and wind turbines at 332 Summerfield homes.
Paul Tilsley, the deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, who chairs the body responsible for spending NRF money, has been championing the eco neighbourhood project.
He said the Summerfield scheme would provide renewable energy systems and help the council progress towards reaching its target to reduce carbon emissions by 60,000 tonnes.
Coun Tilsley (Lib Dem Sheldon) said the NRF, worth #69 million to Birmingham between 2006 and 2008, was beginning to make a real impact on people's lives. Summerfield would become a thriving and sustainable urban neighbourhood where residents would be fully engaged in environmental issues. "Birmingham is showing the way as far as sustainability is concerned," he said.