Weekly Events Blog: Tuesday 14 November | IPT

Energy Literacy: Helping Consumers Interpret Energy Bills

On Tuesday 14 November 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Energy Literacy: Helping Consumers Interpret Energy Bills’. This discussion was chaired by Alan Brown MP, Chair, Energy Costs APPG, with guest speakers Phillippa Brown, Deputy Director of Specialist Audiences at Smart Energy GB and Dr Caitlin Robinson, Academic Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer, School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol.

Key discussion points:

  • Barriers to energy literacy include lack of digital skills, low trust, overly technical language and access limitations.
  • New technologies such as smart meters and online support are not accessible to the digitally excluded – this includes groups with low digital skills and those in rural communities with limited connectivity.
  • It is important not to overestimate people’s skills and understanding. Simplification is needed so that consumers can make informed decisions about their energy use.
  • Building trust is essential to encouraging engagement. This involves obligations of suppliers and trusted third parties/community spaces that can support consumers. Suppliers also need more consistent messaging and outreach to vulnerable communities.
  • Energy literacy is going to become even more important going forward as renewable energy is incorporated into the mix. We need to set the foundations of understanding now in preparation for future complexity.

New Beginnings: Rehabilitation for Ex-Offenders

On Tuesday 14 November 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘New Beginnings: Rehabilitation for Ex-Offenders’. This discussion was chaired by Ruth Cadbury MP, Shadow Minister for Prisons, Parole and Probation, with guest speakers Paul Anstey, CEO Government UK & Ireland, Sodexo and Faiza Khan MBE, Director of Corporate Affairs and Foundation, City & Guilds. The event discussed how best to help ex-offenders into the workplace and how to encourage people to employ them.

Key discussion points:

  • Employers have a natural worry that ex-offenders are likely to reoffend but most prisoners on long sentences have no intention of reoffending and need a helping hand to build strong work foundations to keep them out of prison.
  • Complexity on both sides makes employing ex-offenders off putting to employers but think small and scale fast, call them ‘workshop colleagues’ or similar to prevent prejudice and help business reflect the community.
  • Exo-offenders often have educational needs so new approaches can be helpful, such as an AI teaching programme where things like the diction can be changed to make the learner more comfortable and presenting it in a game-like way helps with continued engagement.
  • More funding is needed to help train prisoners for their life beyond prison and to help set them up with good foundations that they can take forwards.