Cutting-Edge Energy Network to Cut Carbon

November 02 2020 | Articles | News
A Family Looking Out Over Greater Manchester

We’re part of a ground-breaking project to change the way energy is made and used across Greater Manchester.

The Greater Manchester Local Energy Market (GMLEM) is a project creating a modern energy system across the city. This world-leading scheme led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) involves 11 key partners, and is a key part of the GMCA’s plans for decarbonisation. Greater Manchester is committed to become a carbon neutral emissions city region by 2038, and the GMLEM is a really important part of this.

Ultimately, the LEM will allow the city-region to manage its own power supply.

It aims to:

  • Increase local renewable electricity generation
  • Decarbonising how we heat our buildings
  • Increase the diversity and flexibility of our electricity supply
  • Allow for the increase in growth of electric vehicles and new low carbon technology


Gmlem Master Logo Green Rgb

What we’re doing

Northwards Housing’s role in the project is to work with other partners to help provide data. The data will come from heat pumps installed in our homes. Heat pumps make a lot less carbon than traditional heating and, over the years, we’ve installed them in several of our homes. This is something we still do to this day.

The data will be used to help make decisions about how the LEM could work. Part of that is “grid balancing”. This means that energy supplies in some areas could be reduced at peak times to avoid having to buy them at a higher rate. It could also prevent the need to build things like new sub-stations in future.

It could even mean that, in the future, residents would be able to sell any extra energy they don’t need back to the grid! This is some way off, though. But the LEM project is key to looking at the opportunities that may be available to us.

Who else is involved?

The scheme is co-ordinated by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and brings together an array of partners from the private, public and third sectors. These include commercial and legal advisors, service design consultants, financial and regulatory specialists and the energy, technology, and systems resources. The idea is that our combined expertise delivers an ambitious, modern and integrated plan that allows the city region to manage and operate its own power.

What are the benefits?

A new local energy market will reduce carbon emissions and consumer bills, providing market confidence and leading to increased local investment, with the accelerated deployment of renewable energy and storage assets.
It will help make Greater Manchester a globally leading city region, where we can all be proud to live and work.

How will it be funded?

The project development is being funded by a £3m grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, and is running from July 2020 to June 2022.

Eventually, Greater Manchester businesses, organisations and residents will be able to generate their own energy through green systems like photovoltaic solar panels and trade any surplus via the LEM. The idea is that it will be self-funding, with the city region producing all its own green energy and not relying on fossil fuels or energy from outside the region.

When will it be ready?

Our current focus is on designing the LEM market and as part of this we are currently piloting elements of the process with select numbers of Greater Manchester residents. Once we know the outcomes of these pilots, we will be in a better position to understand final timescales. 

Find out more at the links below: 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

GM Green City

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