Established in 2011, SHS was founded to take advantage of the opportunities of the then upcoming Green Deal. Through the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF), whose purpose was to help prepare communities in England and Wales to take action on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by policies such as the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), SHS worked with a number of local communities and authorities to pre-screen candidates for their Green Deal potential and to provide home energy assessment and advice reports. Local college and university students interested in gaining experience in the green economy were recruited to provide this doorstep service.
SHS was the first Community Interest Company to be certified as a Green Deal Advice Organization (GDAO) and in 2012 - 2013 the company played a significant part in the delivery of Green Deal Pioneer Places (GDPP) scheme across 15 Local Authority areas for Green Deal Together and the Building Retrofit Network.
Through 2015, SHS delivered, in partnership with installers, over 15,000 measures under the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO), and achieved 100% compliance, technical monitoring and health and safety ratings in the delivery of our ECO funding contracts. The robustness of our project management processes and company culture, places SHS in the top percentile of energy efficiency companies in the UK for quality.
In January 2015, SHS delivered a fuel poverty assessment pilot for a London borough, calculating levels of fuel poverty to the Hills criteria for Low Income High Costs for 149 households. The borough has used the resultant neighbourhood level detail on fuel poverty, health and well-being, and energy efficiency data to apply resources to interventions that yield the greatest benefit. Two additional projects in the borough were commissioned and delivered in 2016, yielding an additional 325 fuel poverty and home energy efficiency assessments. Interventions for energy efficient behaviour change were trialled and referrals to follow-on financial assistance where needed were provided as part of these projects as well.
Also in 2016, SHS was only one of 14 organisations selected from amongst 270 European applicants to take part in the Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty Program, led by Ashoka and supported by the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France. The programme enabled and supported socially innovative projects that fight against fuel poverty through the provision of mentoring and advice from high calibre consultants and senior business entrepreneurs.
Following-on from the programme, SHS has received grant funding for a fuel poverty identification project which began in May 2017 and was successfully delivered in October 2018. The project gives local authorities and others an accurate and low cost abililty to identify vulnerable and fuel poor households that could benefit from energy efficiency improvements as well as connections to the gas grid.