The Energy Innovation Agency recently hosted an Innovation Showcase for Greater Manchester Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) participants, held at Growth Company Green Skills Academy in Trafford Park, Manchester.
The event was designed to connect registered providers of social housing, eligible for SHDF Wave 2.1 funding, with innovators of energy generation and energy saving solutions suitable for residential building use.
Eighteen social housing providers from across Greater Manchester were represented at the event where they heard about a range of products encompassing energy efficiency, retrofit and renewable energy.
The Energy Innovation Agency (the Agency) is at the forefront of helping Greater Manchester achieve its target of being carbon-neutral by 2038 through its work in accelerating commercialisation and facilitating deployment of low carbon energy solutions from innovative businesses.
The cohort of solutions showcased on the day are all approved under Greater Manchester's upcoming SHDF 2.1 deployment and could result in warmer more comfortable homes, lower energy bills for residents and significantly reduced carbon emissions. They included:
Smart ventilation bricks from Airex – which solves the problem of cold drafts and blocking of old vent by a smart air brick that opens and closes depending on conditions detected by temperature and humidity sensors
Smart hot water cylinder and electric radiators from Enviroheat – unlike traditional cylinders, SmartCyl works well with heat pumps and other green energy solutions and has a more efficient heat system, using 40% less energy
Thermal insulation paint from Zenova – the paint can be used internally or externally and is not only insulating but also a fire barrier. Tests have shown ambient temperature improvements by 4.5oC and an increase in a building’s EPC rating
Solar thermal and PV panels from Naked Energy – their innovative Vertu solution consists of solar PV panels contained in glass tubes in a vacuum, with inbuilt reflectors. They can be installed on walls, flat roofs and anything in between, providing up to 3.5 times the carbon savings (compared with PV) and up to 50% greater returns
Heat pump optimisation platform from Evergreen Energy – Homely is a thermostat system which works best with heat pumps, batteries and solar. It is easy to install and can save up 25% off a consumer’s heating bill
Low profile heat emitter for gas and heat pump systems from Discrete Heat – Thermaskirt, the skirting board alternative to radiators, is easy to install, effective and durable. They save on maintenance requirements too, with the 75% of heating related call outs to bleed radiators not needed
As well as the innovator showcase, attendees also enjoyed a tour of the excellent facilities at the Green Skills Academy, lunch, and informal networking, where the innovators were able to answer more questions from the housing representatives.
The event had some fantastic feedback.
Katie Loforte from Zenova said: “From the conversations I’ve had it is definitely a worthwhile event. It gave us access to people we wouldn’t normally be able to speak to and hear what they think about the products we are talking about.”
Enviroheat’s Luke Cronshaw, commented: “This event is important not only for the innovators to get exposure and to educate, it’s also important for the housing sector to be exposed to ideas and for ideas to be turned into action. It is vital for our business going forward to get this feedback and to understand the problems they have.”
Daniel Dickinson, Development Lead at Energy Innovation Agency, who hosted the event said: “Social Housing Associations are facing unique challenges in decarbonising housing stocks with existing tenants, and today we were able to introduce six exciting innovations that can save energy, provide warm homes and are simple to retrofit or implement. One of the Agency’s core functions is to understand the energy challenges being faced by organisations, and bring innovations forward which meet those needs. The Agency is supporting innovators to reach and understand their target markets, as this contributes to our overall goal of accelerating the decarbonisation of Greater Manchester.”
About Energy Innovation Agency
The Energy Innovation Agency is a public/private partnership formed by eight partners in Greater Manchester (GM), bringing together the best of academic excellence and commercial expertise to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy and leverage our market connections to deploy solutions at scale.
The event was hosted at Growth Company's Green Skills Academy in Trafford, a one-stop shop for learners who want to kick-start their careers in emerging technologies and businesses looking to prepare their workforce for the transition to a carbon neutral economy.
In March 2023 it was announced that over 5,400 additional social homes across Greater Manchester are to receive energy efficiency improvements, after the city-region was granted £37m from Wave 2.1 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.