Across Greater Manchester, we are looking at how the electricity needs of our city-region can be met through local innovations to help us achieve our target of becoming a zero-carbon emissions city region by 2038.

The Greater Manchester Local Energy Market is a 2-year project from July 2020 to June 2022 that sees Greater Manchester Combined Authority and 11 partners work together to look at how we adapt our local energy system. 

In series of blog posts, the partners involved showcase their contribution to the project. Here is the first one from Bruntwood.

At Bruntwood, we’re supporting a lower carbon future. Back in 2018, we became the first property company in the UK to pledge to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon by 2030 commitment. As part of this, we’re working hard to improve upon the sustainability of our own portfolio and ways of working, as well as working closely with our partners to support the transformation of our regions.

We’re proud to be part of the Greater Manchester Local Energy Market project and believe that our team has vital skills and expertise that are needed to help increase energy efficiency across the region as we look to lay the foundations for new technologies and low-carbon infrastructure to be used in the future.

The National Grid which serves the whole of our country is under increasing pressure. A large part of all of our energy bills is spent upgrading and maintaining it – and this is increasing all the time.

Plus, we’re all using more electricity than ever before: using more electronic devices like TVs, laptops, phone chargers; we want air conditioning in our office spaces (when we’re in them!); and we’re expecting to see huge uptake in electric vehicles.

This is all against a backdrop of our climate change concerns and a push to move away from fossil fuels.

The aim of this project is to take pressure off the national grid by generating more energy locally and storing it within a localised system. In doing so, the energy will travel shorter distances from where it’s generated to where it’s used, which will help to reduce the region’s environmental footprint.

So, we’ll be looking at how we can use more decentralised energy systems across the country. This means having pockets of smaller energy systems which link energy generation and energy consumption across the country.

Through the LEM project, across Greater Manchester, we hope to link assets such as solar panels and heat pumps, batteries and geothermal storage, to the demand across the region. The aim is that this creates a more localised system that balances these different elements and helps us to use them more efficiently.

But of course, we have to make this work for the whole region. Part of our involvement in the project is creating a better proposition for energy generation, storage and provision, which in turn should push the overall price down.

We want to create something that works for everyone; so that we can all share in the value it will add across Greater Manchester. This aim feeds perfectly into our business purpose of Creating Thriving Cities. We know that we can’t be successful if our colleagues, customers and our communities aren’t successful, too. The Local Energy Market will have a key role in this and ensuring equality across the region.

We own and operate over 100 buildings mainly in Manchester but also in Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham, and our aim is to be able to implement real changes to our buildings that will reduce energy – for our customers and the environment.

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