SCOTLAND'S largest council is proposing setting up a new energy company in a bid to cut fuel poverty, improve the environment and create new jobs.

Officials from Glasgow City Council are looking at different ways the authority could create its own Glasgow Energy Services Company.

This could be set up in partnership with the private sector and could oversee a range of renewable energy projects across the city, which could create jobs as well as reduce emissions.

The new company, which the council says has the potential to become one of the biggest in Europe, would generate energy which could then be used to power street lights and council buildings.

Electricity could also be sold to the National Grid, with cash raised from this used to tackle fuel poverty.

Glasgow City Council leader councillor Gordon Matheson said: "Last year, the council's energy bill was almost £26 million.

"This scheme could generate significant savings which could be used to help vulnerable city residents struggling to pay their fuel bills."

The council highlighted green energy projects already under way in the city. These include the construction of a wind turbine at Cathkin Braes and the installation of solar panels at St Benedict's Primary School.

Mr Matheson said: "Setting up a company could 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."