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Fuel bills for Greater Manchester council tenants are set to come down following a multi-million pound deal between the British government and Japan.
A £20 million project will see new heat pumps installed in 600 homes in a move to fight fuel poverty.
The new pumps, which look like air conditioning units, use electricity to suck in air from the outside and heat radiators and water tanks. They will reduce the need for households to draw power from the national grid and make greater use of cheaper, off peak tariffs.
They will initially be installed at social housing properties in Wigan, Bury and northManchester. It is hoped they will be rolled out to thousands more as the region looks to shift its dependence on gas central heating.
The new Smart Community Demonstration Project will manage energy flows as part of the deal involving Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO) agency – the main funders behind the move – at the Houses of Parliament yesterday.
Changes will be completed by March 2017 and contribute to efforts by the region’s town halls to bring down CO2 emissions.
Lord Peter Smith, chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and leader of Wigan council, said: “This is an exciting project and places Greater Manchester at the forefront of the development of green energy technology. It’s essential we develop cleaner and greener energy systems to deal with issues such as climate change and also that we find cheaper ways of heating our homes to tackle fuel poverty.
“This scheme is good news for the environment and good news for hard-pressed families fed-up with sky-high energy bills.”
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