Cheaper heating for Manchester homes as council chiefs strike multi-million pound Japanese deal

By Tui Benjamin

Hundreds of Greater Manchester residents could benefit from more affordable energy bills thanks to a multi-million pound deal set to bring state-of-the-art heat generation technology to households.

A deal struck between Japan’s Department of New Energy and Development Organisation (NEDO) and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) will see 300 social housing properties warmed via a combination of low carbon heat units and a remote smart grid management system; the first time this has ever been done domestically worldwide.

If successful the project could be rolled out to thousands of properties across the region and Lord Peter Smith, AGMA chair and Leader of Wigan Council, is delighted that NEDO has chosen Greater Manchester. 

“We have been working closely with our colleagues at NEDO, who bring a huge amount of technical knowledge and passion for green energy to this project,” he said.

“This agreement builds on the successful work we have already been doing to create a low carbon hub in Greater Manchester and is another economic energy success story for our region.”

The deal forms part of Greater Manchester’s commitment to exploring cleaner, greener energy suppliers after the region was recognised as a UK Low Carbon Hub in October.

Long term hopes for the pilot project are to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, lower energy costs and assist in meeting climate change targets through developing new renewable electricity supplies.

Ashley Crumbley, chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Housing, said the project’s state-of-the-art heat generation technology could pave the way for a large-scale replacement of gas boilers.

“This agreement builds on the work we have already carried out across Greater Manchester using energy saving equipment and green energy generating technology such as solar panels, which has resulted in thousands of homes now benefiting from lower bills,” he said.

Picture courtesy of Lee J Haywood, with thanks.

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