Birmingham must cut its total energy bill by £1 billion over the next 15 years under ambitious climate change targets set by city bosses.
Every organisation, household and business will be expected to play a part in reducing their gas and electric bills, while the city council is set to invest in alternative energy sources.
Council officials have estimated the city’s total energy consumption, at current prices, costs £2.2 billion a year – £1.5 billion for gas and electricity and £700 million for petrol and diesel.
The Climate Change Action Plan, set to be approved by the city Cabinet, details a range of energy-cutting measures including district-based combined heat and power, or CHP, generators, electric vehicles, more solar panels, better insulation for properties and more incentives for businesses to develop and use green technology.
And city bosses believe it will not only cut the carbon footprint and pollution levels, but save money which would otherwise be drained from the local economy and can instead be invested in jobs and enterprise.
City deputy leader Paul Tilsely said: “We have already made huge strides forward on the green agenda having cut carbon emissions by 103,000 tonnes last year.
“We have plenty of work to do but we now have a road map that plots how we can reach these ambitious, but essential goals we have set.
“It is imperative we take action to enhance energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty, boost businesses and improve residents’ health.
Council head of climate change, Sandy Taylor, the architect of the plan, said: “We are not just asking people to consider making changes, we need everyone in Birmingham to sign up to it.”
He said that a key element will be increasing the use district-based energy systems, such as the CHP systems being used to supply buildings in Broad Street, Eastside, Aston University and the Children’s Hospital.
To start with, major new developments, such as those at Longbridge, will be required to include a CHP generator.