Corby Council is looking at plans to give 1,000 homes free solar panels through a community enterprise scheme.
The authority had been trying to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in the borough during the past few years - but that had stalled after government subsidies dried up.
But now the council has started talks with a community enterprise company called Empower Community Management that finds funding for the panels and maintains them for 20 years, at which point they are transferred to the council.
All profits are ploughed back into the project, with the surplus going to the community.
A report that will be heard by councillors this week says: “For a scheme of approximately 1,000 properties the Council will receive approximately £10k to £15k per annum for 20 years. “The tenant will receive free daytime power, which would save approximately £200 per annum per tenant. On the basis of an assumed increase in energy costs of 2 per cent above inflation per annum, this would provide a total economic value to tenants within the scheme over 20 years of approximately £5k in real terms.
“In addition, the Community Fund would also make an annual contribution of profits to a Local Community Fund of between £10k and£15k per annum for 20 years. With member input, this money will be used to help develop new projects, skills and jobs in the local area with a particular emphasis on alleviating fuel poverty.”