Greater Manchester Local Energy Market (GMLEM) Citizens’ Jury

The citizens’ jury will see 12 people, carefully selected to represent the demographics of the city region, come together to help with decision making on the governance of the local energy market.

The jury took place at Friends’ Meeting House in Manchester city centre between 26 April and 5 May. The report containing its recommendations will be published in the summer. Watch the expert witness presentations here.

citizens' jury

What is happening?

The citizens’ jury will see 12 people, carefully selected to represent the demographics of the city region, come together to help with decision making on the governance of the local energy market.

The jury, commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), will explore what key everyday factors should be considered when deciding who owns and operates the local energy market and what role GMCA plays going forward.

The jury is part of the GMCA’s Greater Manchester Local Energy Market (GMLEM) project to revolutionise energy networks and help the city-region achieve it’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.

How will it work?

Participants will be presented with and asked to deliberate on a number of scenarios that explore different structures and relationships. Jurors will then anonymously vote for the scenario they’d like to see put into practice. 

The jury will meet over six sessions between 26 April and 5 May, and will take place at Friends’ Meeting House in Manchester city centre. Participants will receive £70.00 per day as a thank you for their time.

citizens' jury

No specific qualifications or skills are needed. All that’s required is a willingness to share views and opinions on energy, and listen to those of other people. The deadline for signing up to the process has now closed.

The GMLEM project is funded by a £3m grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, running from July 2020 to June 2022.

How we recruited jury members

Phase 1

We toured around Greater Manchester by bike, towing a visually striking, interactive, engagement stand.

The tour consisted of 14 sites, ranging from housing association community events, supported living centres and shopping malls, to charities, refugee resource centres and social enterprises devoted to sustainability.

We used a variety of tools to hold conversations with people on these sites and ensure we could adapt the conversation to different levels of understanding of energy systems. These included:

  • Interactive magnetic icons to help explain the energy system and illustrate the LEM platform and business models; 
  • ‘Insight postcards’ to capture people’s needs and challenges regarding the future of energy; 
  • Discussions around the challenges, opportunities and exciting and confusing elements of the LEM concept.

Phase 2

We then held in-depth interviews with four electric vehicle (EV) drivers and six heat pump users. This ensured we platformed the voices of people with different experiences of heat pumps and electric vehicles, and increased our understanding of how LEM technology can be designed to maximise the positive impacts and counteract the inequalities.

We engaged with over 200 people on an informal basis who are often excluded from conversations around future energy developments due to the technical and complex nature of the topic.

We then decided to run a citizens’ jury:

  • To ensure LEM decisions are based on a broader understanding of needs, challenges and opportunities in GM.
  • To involve a greater number of citizens in decision making for developing LEM business models.
  • To increase public understanding of the LEM.
  • To ensure greater transparency and accountability in decision making around GM LEM.

Oversight Panel

The panel meet alongside the jury to ensure the process is fair and unbiased, as well as deciding what question the jury will consider and agreeing which experts will present to the jury. The following people sit on it.

James Lester

James is Head of Operations at a tech start-up in Manchester and has a special interest in retrofit and green energy. He’s overseen two major retrofits projects and is an active Carbon Coop member and investor in People Powered Retrofit.

citizens' jury

Sarah Holliday 

Dr Sarah Holliday is a researcher at Nesta Challenges and co-founder of social enterprise Telescope, where her work centres on facilitating and empowering people on the frontline of social challenges to have their voice heard in the policymaking process. She has a technical background in solar energy research within academia, as well as holding a Social Innovation Fellowship with Year Here. This led to her work in community energy, establishing a community solar project in East London with Mayoral funding as well as being elected as a Director of Community Energy London from 2019-2020.

Nkechi Nuella Anasoh 

Nkechi is an Energy Engineer and consultant and has substantial experience working across industry in the oil and gas sector. Nkechi was a visiting researcher to university of Lancaster as a commonwealth professional fellow with a focus on gender equality , Affordable and clean energy. In recent years Nkechi has broadened her focus and interest in renewable energy, climate risks and emission reduction as industries diversify portfolios to reduce carbon emission.

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