Case Study: Case one

smart energy case studyAs part of our Deal for Tenants, we’ve promised to provide value for money services and one of the ways we’re doing that is through improving energy efficiency in your homes.

Tenants are already benefiting from new ‘smart’ heating systems thanks to an energy management project developed with the Japanese Government.

Around 300 council homes in Wigan Borough will be fitted with state-of-the-art smart energy, thanks to a world first trial that will see up to £20m invested across Greater Manchester.

Air source heat pumps will be fitted into people’s homes replacing their existing old inefficient heating systems.

The pumps are connected to a “smart grid” system which can manage the energy produced in people’s homes and help reduce demand on the National Grid, which is currently close to capacity. It’s the first time the technology has been used in homes anywhere in the world.

The project went live in October last year and we now have over 30 properties with heating installed. As the installations are completed we will return to the properties to provide a tablet computer which will allow residents to be part of the trial – it also has the other advantage of providing free access to the internet and will be an opportunity for more residents to get online.

Wigan and Leigh Homes tenant Carole Ball was one of the first people to have the system fitted in her home. Carole from Hindley said: “We previously had old storage heaters in our house that were really outdated. The house could get quite cold and hot water would run out quickly.

“We had the new system fitted and we’re really pleased with it. The house has been much warmer and we have constant hot water. And, because the system comes with a meter, we’ve been able to see how much money we’ve been spending. So far the new system seems much cheaper. I think our energy bills our going to be cut dramatically, which is great news.”

Janice Barton, chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Homes, said: “We know high energy bills are a major concern for our tenants. This new technology will hopefully lead to cheaper bills but also produce energy in a cleaner and greener way.

“This builds on the work we have already been doing using energy saving equipment and green energy generating technology such as solar panels, which has resulted in thousands of homes benefiting from lower bills.”