News article: New technology home heating trails proving to be a success in Greater Manchester

16 January 2017

New technology home heating trails proving to be a success in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is working with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) on one of the most significant heat pump trials in the UK for domestic homes.

The Greater Manchester Smart Communities project aims to support the shift from gas to electric heating and trial demand side response. This is something that the UK needs to do in order to ensure its energy security in the future as well as meeting local and national carbon targets. The project is testing low carbon heat pump technology, its impact on electricity networks and the benefits to customers.

The three year £20 million project was launched in March 2014 and is now in the final phase when all the technology and learning is put into action.  The project will be due for completion in March 2017.

The final test phase will aim to have 550 homes taking part in demand side trials where householders will have their heating switched off for short periods at peak demand times.  Due to the energy efficiency of their homes, it is expected that participating residents will experience little, if any, disruption to their levels of comfort, whilst demonstrating energy savings for the energy grid. This could ultimately prove beneficial for social housing providers who could (in the future) negotiate a reduced price energy tariff for those residents who are willing to take part in demand side ‘events’ in the future.

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor and Chair of the GM Low Carbon Hub said:

“Early indications of the final test phase are very encouraging; with residents remarking that the trials have had no detrimental effect on the warmth of their homes.  With the trial showing nearly 200Negawatts of energy demand saved, we are confident that it could have a dramatic impact on how we heat our homes and use technology in the future.”



  • Greater Manchester has a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 48% by 2020, (compared to 1990 level). Currently domestic fuel demand accounts for around 12% of Greater Manchester’s total carbon footprint.
  • The NEDO partnership project is being seen as a pilot. If successful, it could show the way for similar retrofit programmes in many more homes across the city region and be a national exemplar.
  • Government projections indicate that residential demand response is set to become more widespread in the future, so this places Greater Manchester at the forefront of this trend.
  • Social Housing providers Northwards, Six Town Housing and Wigan and Leigh Housing asked their residents to volunteer to take part in the project.  Participating homes were fully insulated and fitted with broadband access.   Air Source Heat Pumps were installed and all residents received training on how their new heating systems operated.  The demand side response trials are voluntary and conducted over short periods of time.
  • Project partners include:
    Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), Daiken, Electricity North West Ltd, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Hitachi Ltd, Mizuho Bank, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Northwards Housing, Six Town Housing, Wigan and Leigh Homes.
  • For further information on the Greater Manchester Smart Communities project visit: