North London Partners in health and care

Addressing fuel poverty: One thing I am doing to improve asthma outcomes for children and young people

Eamon Rooke
Energy Advisor at SHINE London

I work for SHINE, which is a free energy advice network for Londoners. Our job is to do everything we can to prevent our residents falling into fuel poverty, including those in north central London.

Fuel poverty effects many different people, but especially those on low incomes, in cold, damp properties, with long term illnesses. Asthma, like many long term illnesses, is made worse by coldness at home.

SHINE addresses that inequality by increasing energy efficiency in people’s homes. To do this, we offer home visits to install a range of small measures like free draught excluders, energy saving bulbs, reflective panels behind radiators. We also give advice on using heating systems efficiently and effectively, which are not always easy to understand. We can also support people to access grants for new boilers, wall, loft and floor insulation, and more.

A warm home does not make energy affordable on its own, however, so we also help to maximise income. We help residents to get £140 off their electricity in the winter through the Warm Home Discount scheme, 50% off their water bills with Water Sure Plus, applications to write off utility arrears, and even make wider referrals for services like the Taxicard, to help those with mobility problems better access cheap, convenient transport.

For asthma sufferers in particular, our wider referrals to services like AirText when implemented alongside measure to keep the home warm, help people to minimise disruption to their health. Taken together, all of these interventions keep people healthy, warm and financially stable.

Anyone can access our services themselves or on behalf of anyone else by calling 0300 555 0195.