People’s Republic of Energy

Co-ordinated by Energy Democracy Greater Manchester, this Jam and Justice action research project runs an inquiry into how workers and citizens might become more involved in the governance of the energy system, as a way of addressing societal issues such as fuel poverty and climate change. We are a group of climate activists, council officers, technology experts, elected politicians, trade unionists, grid specialists, researchers, co-operative practitioners and self-proclaimed policy wonks discussing and planning the opportunity of democratically controlled energy in Greater Manchester.

The aim is to positively influence local policy makers with a key focus for bringing the findings of the enquiry to Andy Burnham’s climate conference in Spring 2018 and sharing them with a wider public.

Our process is one of hands-on enquiry and open-minded dialogue. We have agreed to challenge and be challenged, respect other view points and maybe even change our minds. Next to desk-based research we come together for a mapping workshop, a visit to a distribution company and a guided walk of the past and present of Manchester energy systems. And we collect local, national and international examples we can learn from and connect with and share them on this website.

The questions that underpin our research for Jam and Justice include:

  • What barriers currently exist to incorporating citizens and workers in a municipal energy company in Greater Manchester according to a) policy makers b) energy system activists c) citizens; and d) workers?
  • What examples already exist of meaningful and successful engagement of citizens and workers; and what existing and new business models are there for an energy supply company in the UK or beyond?
  • In what ways have these been demonstrated to be effective and successful (e.g. on social, economic and environmental terms?) Does Greater Manchester offer equivalent structures/conditions within which to put in place similar models?
  • What currently unforeseen benefits might exist as side effects of worker and citizen participation in a municipal energy system in Manchester? Can these be built into the design of a municipal energy company for Greater Manchester?

How can insights from this Jam and Justice project inform the design of a municipal energy company in Greater Manchester that will help establish values of equality, fairness and sustainability at the heart of energy provision?

To find out more about the project, visit our website:


News, events and blog

During the Energy Walk (People's Republic of Energy)
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 16:45

In 2018, the People's Republic of Energy project ran a series of creative activities including a walk through the past and future of Greater Manchester's energy supply.

Walks will run again in 2019, in February and March, with support from project partners Carbon Coop.

Further information including all walk dates and how to book a place will be available from January.

‘Big Six' energy company price hikes, increasing numbers of people forced into energy poverty, market incumbents resisting change and the collapse of Carillion have all demonstrated the illusion of private sector efficiency and market primacy in the energy system – in fact the system is broken, unable to reform and in need a serious re-think!

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:30
Manchester Central Library

Devolution promised to open up new opportunities for community engagement and empowerment, shifting power from Whitehall to the Townhall. One year on since the election of Andy Burnham as Mayor of Greater Manchester, Jam and Justice's Action Research Collective are hosting a debate in Manchester Central Library to discuss the changing horizons of collective decision-making in Greater Manchester.