GLASGOW City Council is planning to set up its own green energy company to tackle fuel poverty, cut carbon emissions and create new jobs.

Last year the council spent almost £26 million heating buildings including schools, libraries, sport centres and museums and on powering street lights.

Studies have now been carried out into harnessing hydro power from the rivers Clyde and Kelvin and generating power from waste at the Polmadie treatment plant.

Experts have also investigated creating centralised heating networks similar to the hi-tech system used in the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village.

A number of green energy projects have been tested, including wind turbines on the Cathkin Braes and solar panels at St Benedict's primary in Easterhouse.

It is thought the new company would be able to sell energy to the National Grid, using any excess cash generated to help city pensioners with winter fuel payments .

And it would protect the council from rising energy costs introduced by the big energy companies.

Council chiefs believe the planned Glasgow Energy Services Company (GLESCo) will be one of the largest such schemes in Europe.

Any such company could be set up in partnership with the private sector and could oversee a range of renewable energy schemes across the city.

An insider said: "The council could generate energy, use some to power council buildings and sell some back to the national grid."

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Such a scheme could provide, social, economic and environmental benefits for the city.

"Last year, the council's energy bill was almost £26m. This scheme could generate significant savings which could be used to help vulnerable residents struggling to pay their fuel bills.

"Setting up a company would also help protect the council against future energy price rises and jobs would be created as new renewables projects were installed.

"Glasgow's carbon footprint would also be reduced as more people move to greener energy production."

On Thursday, members of the council's executive committee will be asked to agree that officials be allowed to hold discussions with energy providers to discuss similar schemes currently used in places such as London before creating the company.