By SDRN on 3rd May 2012

LOCATION: Pilot scheme running in the London boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Havering.

AIM: To help low income households tackle fuel poverty and financial exclusion.

BACKGROUND: SHIMMER is a smart energy and money management system, launched by London Rebuilding Society, HomeZone cic and the Energy Savings Trust. A pilot scheme was run with 18 households, most of which were in some form of debt or with little or no disposable income. The scheme gives users real-time, monetised data about their energy consumption as well as actionable advice to help customers reduce energy usage and bills. Energy consumption data is collected via smart plugs from individual household appliances and then presented in the monetised, accessible format. SHIMMER also enables users to pay bills and make transactions, offering a range of money management support services. According to the SHIMMER website, indicative results from the pilot project suggest the scheme is saving participants between £200 and £3,500 a year.

STATUS: Ongoing.


  • Taking advantage of the Feed-in-Tariff, the pilot project provided households with solar PV and a smart system providing real time, monetised information on energy consumption, and delivered tailored advice and financial incentives to encourage households to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills. It is accessed via an online platform, which integrates smart energy management with household finance applications e.g. household budgeting tools, benefits and entitlements checker, a savings facility, and a utility switch service.
  • Negotiations are underway to use SHIMMER in the development of an early intervention alert service for vulnerable people, and to roll out SHIMMER across areas of social housing stock in additional London boroughs.
  • There are plans to enable users to access SHIMMER from their television sets, to link up to telecare services, and to help households monitor their Green Deal loans.