SHINE

SHINE is a free energy advice service and fuel poverty referral network for Londoners, operated by Islington Council.

853 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

Our story

SHINE stands for Seasonal Health Interventions NEtwork and is a free energy and bills advice service operated by Islington Council and funded by EDF, GLA and Local Authority contracts. Initially, SHINE started by serving residents in Islington but we have since expanded the service to all London Boroughs. Our team focuses on residents who are most in need of SHINE's service: people who spend over 10% of their income on energy; older people; people who have long-term health issues such as respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, disabilities or impairments; and families with younger children. Our service has evolved and now includes:

Telephone Support - for independent advice on energy and bills, priority registration, and electricity and water discounts. In 2019, we applied for £136,000 of grants for our clients to help make living costs more affordable.

Fuel & Water Debt Support - one-on-one support for clients in arrears, meter readings, trust fund applications and payment plans to help with repayments, and signposting for further debt and money advice. In 2019, £8,000 of client debt was written off, alleviating a huge source of stress.

Energy Doctors - who conduct home energy visits (during COVID, carried out as phone consultations and followed up by a delivery of energy saving measures) to identify and help install energy saving measures. In 2019, our Energy Doctors service saved their clients £86,000 and 853 tonnes of CO2.

Onward Referrals - to other services such as air pollution alerts, befriending services, Local Authority/GLA grants, fire safety checks, taxicard.

What have you learnt that others will find most useful?

  • High quality of service offering, and the trust and reliability that goes along with that, is really important. If necessary, SHINE makes the trade-off and maintains a high quality service with a longer waiting list rather than lowering quality to reduce the wait.
  • Each client needs to be treated on an individual case-by-case basis, and both client and staff feedback should be taken into account.
  • Onward referrals are a key part of the service we provide, as we recognise that some issues are interconnected and should be addressed from multiple angles and by different agencies.
  • Targeting those who are most in need can be a challenge as they are sometimes the hardest to reach. We use EPC data to identify the homes most in need and target mailings through established mutual referral networks where possible, such as through GPs and Housing Associations.

Measures of success?

Savings on energy bills, reduction in carbon emissions, fuel and water debt support, grant applications for qualifying individuals, onward referrals to other support services.

Read more: https://www.shine-london.org.uk

Jobe Bryer
SHINE