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29/04/15: Powerful savings for Stockport residents

More than 260 residents in Stockport took part in a pioneering trial which has helped them reduce their use of electricity by more than 10 percent in just six months. Power Saver Challenge

Power network operator Electricity North West launched the Power Saver Challenge in November to help eliminate the need to build costly new substations to cope with growing demand.

The Power Saver Challenge, the first of its kind in the country, encouraged residents in the Heaton Moor, Heaton Norris and Heaton Chapel areas of Stockport to become more energy efficient. Within just three months the majority of residents had already reduced their energy usage by 10 percent, which equates to £59 on the average annual electricity bill.

Paul Bircham, network strategy and technical services director for Electricity North West, said: “Demand in electricity is set to double by 2050, and building a biggerPaul Bircham, network strategy and technical services director for Electricity North West network to meet predicted demand could cost hundreds of millions – which would ultimately come from customers’ bills. We wanted to work with the community to encourage customers to reduce consumption so that there’s less need to invest in costly new infrastructure.

“We are delighted that our exciting new initiative was a success and not only were residents able to enjoy a price cut on their energy bills, but the trial really brought the community together.

“I think people were surprised at how much they can save by just changing simple things around the house, including using energy-saving light bulbs, draught-proofing doors and washing clothes at a lower temperature.”

An energy efficient household appliance was awarded to the most successful energy saving residents and the results of the trial will now be shared with other network operators across the country and could be rolled out across the North West.

Wendy Barker, from Sibley Road, Heaton Moor, said: “I wanted to take part in the Power Saver Challenge to learn more ways of saving energy and reducing our electricity bills. I always thought that I was quite good at keeping an eye on our energy usage, but we’ve learnt a great deal. For example, I had no idea how much energy leaving the microwave cooker and other equipment on standby used and how much you save by batch cooking for a couple of days.
Ian and Wendy Barker, from Heaton Moor, took part in the Power Saver Challenge
“By taking part in the trial it’s not only enabled us to save on our energy, but it’s given us the opportunity to approach people who live locally that I don’t know very well and it’s been a really great way of bringing the local neighbours together and we all feel much happier in our neighbourhood now.”

The Power Saver Challenge has also been shortlisted for a national prestigious award Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards in the Engaging Customers on Sustainability category. Winners will be announced in June. For more information on the project go to

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