Greater Manchester Green City Region. Creating a greener, greater city region differently

Greater Manchester homes getting ‘smarter’ with Japanese Government

The £20 million demonstration project is the result of a partnership between Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority (GMCA) and Japan’s New Energy Development Organisation (NEDO) with other partners including Wigan and Leigh Homes, Northwards Housing, Six Town Housing and their respective councils, Hitachi Ltd, Daikin Industries Ltd, Mizuho Bank,  Electricity Northwest and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Five hundred and fifty households across Bury, Manchester and Wigan volunteered to participate in the pioneering trials which involved having their old, inefficient heating systems replaced with cutting-edge air-source heat pumps. 

The pumps were connected to a “smart grid” system with specialist technology to control the energy consumed in their homes. 

Residents were also provided with a tablet computer and free access to the internet to enable them to participate in the trial.

By coordinating and controlling the combined electricity use of the households at peak times of the day (known as Demand Response), the project was able to demonstrate a significant reduction of energy demand on the National Grid and test real market situations to identify cases where electricity aggregation using heat pumps can be used effectively.

Findings from the trial will also be used as part of the UK Government’s long-term strategy on heat which aims to strengthen analysis of the range of potential approaches to decarbonising heat in the long term.

“This valuable demonstration project has enabled further understanding of the opportunities and solutions to some of the challenges these systems can present," says Councillor Alex Ganotis, GM Green City Region Lead.

"It's clear that a significant amount of energy can be saved through collective Demand Response across a large number of social housing properties, and the complex nature of the project, involving multiple delivery partners, the social housing sector and new innovative techniques, has resulted in several lessons that can be passed on for future smart energy projects to learn from.”

“I think that we have attained some great results through the efforts and cooperation of the many project participants," adds Yoshiko Yurugi, Director at NEDO.

"The completion of this project underlines our strong relationship with Greater Manchester and we hope that we can continue working within the region on future projects.” 

Since recieving her installation in November 2014, Deborah Stevens, a Northwards Housing tenant, has significantly reduced the use of her gas fire and has seen her gas bill cut by more than half.  

“I was shocked by how much I saved," explains Deborah.

"I knew almost nothing about renewables beforehand. Now I can tell all my neighbours, friends and family about them and their benefits.”


To find out more, get in touch with Greater Manchester Smart Energy project team:


Twitter: @GMLowCarbonHub

Telephone: 0161 778 7014


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