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The Greater Manchester Local Energy Market - what is it?

Case Studies,
Greater Manchester Local Energy Market graphic

Bruntwood is part of the Greater Manchester Local Energy Market (GMLEM), a project which
is 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

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

Who 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 is Bruntwood's role?
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.

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.

What will the LEM look like?
While the final details are still being worked out, the LEM is looking at how energy is
generated, traded, transported, supplied and used across the city region.

There are two key elements to the project:
1. Energy systems planning. We are taking a full view of how we plan the new energy
system that includes forward planning and working closely with the 10 Greater
Manchester Local Authorities to understand how we use energy now and how we are
likely to use it in the future. This allows us to plan for how our energy assets and
networks need to change.

2. Creating a platform for trading energy. This will be a bespoke LEM aggregation
platform via an app and website that integrates smart technologies across heat,
power and transport and links into local distribution and national transmission

Together, these two sides of the project show us how Greater Manchester can build its own
local energy market.

Who will use it?
In time, everyone! We are trying to build a system that allows everyone living and working in
Greater Manchester to use energy differently.

User experience is at the heart of the project design. The LEM platform will be used by
commercial properties, owner occupiers, social housing tenants and the public sector, so it
needs to be intuitive, easy to use and understandable.

We’ve sought opinions and input from the general public, private sector businesses and the
public sector to make sure that the LEM does what everyone needs it to do.
Special consideration has been given to ensure that it protects the most vulnerable in society
from the impact of rising energy bills or poor-quality homes.
In its initial phases, it’s likely that the LEM will be used by the private sector, with public
sector and general public following in later years.

What are the benefits?
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working to make Greater Manchester a place
where everyone can live a good life, growing up, getting on and growing old in a greener,
fairer, more prosperous city region. A key part of these plans is protecting our
environment, and that’s why Greater Manchester is seeking to become carbon neutral by

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

Find out more on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and GM Green City websites.

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