A new research facility at Salford University could help save the public hundreds of pounds off their energy bills.

The Smart Meters>Smart Homes Research Facility, which was launched at Joule House by Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey on Friday morning, aims to use smart meters to test the amount of energy people use and attempt to make it cheaper for customers.

The University, who are working with Octopus Energy on the project, will look at dynamic tariffing to measure the cheapest times for people to use a large amount of electricity.

Speaking at the launch, Salford University Deputy Vice Chancellor Richard Stephenson said: “Consumers are unclear as to the benefits of smart meters and businesses are only really just starting to realise the innovation and potential.

“This facility will bridge that gap.”

Dr Alex Marshall, Energy House technical lead at the University, explained how the research done at the new facility can impact ordinary Salford households.

Dr Marshall said: “What this lab allows us to do is to take the typical energy demands of consumers- such as washing the dishes in a dishwasher- and programme those functions outside of expensive tariffing times, so you can save quite a lot of money.

“People might be using energy throughout the house when everybody is sat in the living room, so what we want to see is those people consciously making decisions about their energy use.”

Long-Bailey, who is also Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, praised the lab for its work to make costs cheaper for those struggling to pay their bills.

Ms Long-Bailey said: “Smart meters will play a key part in people’s homes; in showing people when the best time is to do their washing, to cook the tea and to put the tumble dryer on.”

The MP for Salford and Eccles also paid tribute to the city’s role at the forefront of this technological exploration, saying “I think that we are one of the critical places in the UK for energy research and I think we can certainly lead the world in that regard.”

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