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Ashden Awards finalists: London Borough of Islington (SHINE)



On June 11 the success of the renewable energy industry will be celebrated at the Ashden Awards. We asked this year’s finalists to tell us about them, their achievements and the changes they would like to see. Here we take a look at London Borough of Islington (SHINE).

Tell us who you are?

SHINE, the Seasonal Health Interventions Network, was set up in 2010 to help people in Islington suffering from the impacts of fuel poverty.

What does your company or organisation do?

SHINE is a single point of access for a wide range of services to tackle cold homes and the other causes of seasonal deaths and hospital admissions. Almost 90 organisations working in Islington refer residents in need of urgent help to SHINE and nearly 9,000 had been helped by SHINE in the five years to May this year. Alongside energy efficiency improvements the service also delivers a wide range of seasonal health interventions such as fire safety checks, falls prevention, benefit checks and befriending services.

Give us some bullets on achievements, lives affected, emissions reduced, etc.

– Almost 9,000 referrals have been made to the service since it was set up less than five years ago.

– Around 40,000 interventions have been made to help people suffering from cold homes and high energy bills, responsible for an estimated 2,700 deaths in London every year.

– Energy  efficiency interventions save vulnerable SHINE clients over £700,000 each year and reduces carbon emissions by over 3,200 tonnes per year.

What would winning an Ashden Award mean to you?

SHINE was trailblazing when it was first launched in December 2010 as it was the first service of its kind. We share the vision of Ashden to make the world a more environmentally sustainable place by reducing mankind’s carbon footprint while helping out the most deprived people who cannot afford to heat their homes because energy costs have become so high in recent years. An Ashden Award  would be a very prestigious addition to our trophy cabinet and very welcome acknowledgement of the Islington Council staff and our partner organisations who have worked so hard to make it the success that it has become.

If you were in charge globally for one day, what one sustainable change would you make?

I would ensure access to clean energy and safe and healthy homes for all. Across the world energy poverty blights millions of lives. This can be through winter deaths in Europe or the death and disablement caused by unsafe and dirty stoves in the developing world. Energy drives much of global civilisation and the world economy and universal access to clean, affordable forms should be a right and not a luxury.  We need to protect our most vulnerable people in the developed world by insulating their homes whilst opening up renewable energy to the developing world. A global carbon tax where revenues are recycled back into efficiency and low carbon generation would be a central part of my strategy.

Photo: nicksarebi via Flickr

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Further reading:

UK finalists of 2015 Ashden Awards announced

2015 International Ashden Awards shortlist unveiled