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Give people more control over their energy bills

OPENING the CBI's Annual Net Zero Conference, CBI Director General, Tony Danker, will call on the Government to make:- "an all out national effort " on energy efficiency. He will outline his strategy to simultaneously reduce energy bills at a time of high inflation and spur economic growth.

Speaking to an audience of senior business leaders at the Science Museum, in London, Tony will say people must not be left:- "at the mercy of global oil and gas prices." The best solution is to give people the tools to manage their demand via energy efficiency measures like home insulation. Second, by being an:- "early mover" on new green growth opportunities as the UK has been with offshore wind. Calling out climate sceptics he'll say:- "business and Government must show decarbonisation is the solution, not the problem. We must show now how it delivers lower bills, better jobs, and brighter economic prospects."

Research shows retrofitting UK properties to improve energy efficiency could save households around £500 (for those homes rated D or worse for energy performance to a C) and cut energy costs for small and medium sized businesses by up to a quarter.

At the CBI event, sponsored by Bain and Company, Equinor and National Grid, he'll urge Government to scrap its:- "fits and start approach" to energy efficiency, and instead find a long term solution.

The CBI recommends urgent Government action on 3 fronts:-

Legislate for the 4th ECO scheme before summer recess and commit £1bn annual funding for energy efficiency retrofits, creating a new ECO+ scheme which helps more households kickstart their plans to fit insulation immediately.

Unblock delays to green infrastructure by publishing an accelerated planning regime for offshore wind projects, to cut delivery time in ½. And reform the onshore wind planning regime to approve projects at speed.

Back critical technologies that will support the world's decarbonisation in the decades ahead. Confirm business models for hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage by 2023; alongside backing the deployment of 2 additional carbon capture clusters by 2030.

Tony Danker, CBI Director General is expected to say:- "The war in Ukraine has made the switch to clean energy more urgent; to guarantee global security, national security and the security of every family in our country. Inflation changes the game too. People feel powerless, some are at breaking point. Their lives at the mercy of global storms that they and even their own Government have little ability to control. While the Government's recent support package will help ease some of the pressure, they're clear it's a temporary solution. Energy prices are likely to be higher for longer than we imagined. Re-imagining the supply side to reduce our fossil fuel use further will take years not months. This is a long term crisis that needs a long term solution, but people need a fix now. It's driving something of a backlash against net zero, partly understandable in the circumstances. Yet coming most forcefully from long-time sceptics. Arguing net zero is a costly distraction. Better we stick with fossil fuels. Currently, the public don't quite agree. Despite all the challenges, the surveys show continued commitment to tackling climate change. But we can't be complacent. Business and Government must take this seriously. We must show decarbonisation is the solution, not the problem, or we'll lose that support. We must show now how it delivers lower bills, better jobs, and brighter economic prospects."

On how decarbonisation can bring down energy bills, Tony will say:- "Going green will cut people's energy bills. By giving people more power to use less energy and limit the impact of rising fossil fuels prices on their lives. The Government's Energy Security Strategy commits to fresh targets on the supply side. But what it fails to do in this crisis is say anything about the demand side. There are lots of ways to help people bring down their bills. The UK has some of Europe's oldest, leakiest buildings. UK homes lose heat up to 3 times faster than more energy efficient homes in countries, such as Germany. It's estimated that Government cuts to climate policies over the last decade, including energy efficiency measures, have added around £2.5bn to the nation's energy bills, costing households over £40 a year3. To be on track to achieve our targets, the UK needs to invest around £5.2bn every year to 2035 in making homes more energy efficient. That amounts to a split of around £1.7bn of public investment per year and £3.5bn private from landlords and homeowners able to pay for. That sounds expensive. But higher energy bills and resulting inflation just cost the Chancellor £22bn's worth of support in the Spring; £15bn in May; and we haven't reached October yet. Do we want a new normal of energy efficiency or a new normal of billion pound bailouts every quarter?"

On what Government can do to help improve energy efficiency, Tony will say:- "We must fulfil the commitments this Government made to close the investment gap in energy efficiency. Commitments in their manifesto, no less. Let's learn lessons from where previous policies like the Green Homes Grant have failed. And get a plan in place. We can get started really fast. The ECO scheme has outlasted others. It supports fuel poor households to save through energy efficiency measures. As such, it's the fastest tool we have to get thousands more homes upgraded before the winter. It works simply. Obligated energy suppliers help promote and fund the installation of energy efficiency measures for these households, such as loft or wall insulation, or heating solutions, working together with installers. But households and suppliers still await confirmation of its next phase, nearly 2 months since its end in March, when the energy price rises really began to hit. The Government has the opportunity right now to prioritise the legislation of the fourth ECO scheme before the summer recess. And we can also go further. We're asking the UK Government to commit an additional £1bn of support annually and create ECO+, to help more households get started on the journey. Under ECO+, Government funding could be matched by customer contributions, and made affordable through Government working with banks and employers to develop green finance options that help spread the cost. It's time to get serious about energy demand. There's nothing libertarian about asking people to wait decades for Government to fix supply. Let's do something now to give people the power they need; literally; to manage the cost of living."

On what business can do to help improve energy efficiency, Tony will say:- "What we've set out on energy demand and supply side, will allow Government to stop acting like a pressure cooker; forever responding to events when they boil over. But there's work for businesses too. First, helping customers and employees cope with current hardship. Providing advice alongside direct assistance or payment plans to ease the burden. As for energy suppliers, taking measures, such as the Vulnerability Commitment, using data from smart and prepayment meters to target and strengthen support for vulnerable customers and continuing to help customers fit energy efficiency upgrades and tools like smart thermostats. To every firm, stay on track on your own net zero journeys. If you're well on your way to decarbonising your operations, products and services, build on your achievements. Increase your ambitions. And look to see how you can help your customers, supply chains and other firms beyond your sector get on too."

On green growth, Tony will say:- "Going green will bring the UK economy its 1st post Brexit boom and allow us to genuinely outcompete the rest of the world. The UK prize on offer is already worth tens of billions of pounds and rising. The UK needs to be hungry and ready to compete for the lion's share of that investment. That means green jobs across the country, helping local economies; not just the national bottom line; all the while strengthening our global competitiveness for decades to come. At a time when growth is stalling in the UK and across the world, and the UK Government is looking for solutions that won't overheat the economy or break the bank. More than ever green growth is the growth bet we need. The money is green; and today we have a competitive advantage. But that position is under rapid attack from our competitors. We dare not squander it."

Movema's annual world dance event returns this June in Liverpool

MOVEMA World Dance charity are excited to bring back their annual, FREE, community get together event:- "Big Union" from 11am to 4pm, on Saturday, 11 June 2022, at:- The Black-E, Great George Street, Liverpool City Centre and everyone is invited!

Movema invites artists and organisations from around the city, from dance to music to other arts and cultural groups who work improve the lives of isolated and under-represented communities, in Liverpool City Region, including:- Refugee Women Together, Afro Dance Academy, Sola Arts, Milap and more. Expect explosive performances, exciting workshops, choirs, martial arts, crafts, kids activities and tasty cultural food.

This year the Big Union will premiere "Shakti" a dance performance created by Movema's community performers and North West Indian dance artists which will celebrate feminine energy in a dynamic and beautiful performance featuring over 20 dancers and live Indian Dhol drummers!

Organiser, Ithalia Forel says:- "Big Union celebrates being human by bringing together all different parts of the Liverpool community to meet, eat, dance and have fun! People keep telling us this is what we need in these hard times post COVID and other difficult events and this is what Movema do best!"

Director of Shakti, Senior Associate Artist; Sheetal Maru says:- "It's been inspirational to see how our participants have choreographed and responded to the theme of Shakti, which means feminine energy in Sanskrit. They've all brought something of themselves to the project, it's our way of celebrating the Queen Jubilee's celebrations in an inclusive and empowering way reflecting the diversity of Britain."

Alok Nyak from Milap adds:- "Milap are delighted to be part of such an exciting project, making Indian dance and culture accessible to all. We see the new generation of Indian dance artists and teachers who we will continue to support with Movema, as part of our commitment to developing Indian dance and artists in Liverpool and the North West."

Come and meet new friends, find out about the services your City has available, and celebrate YOU!

Open invitation to North West's largest free event of the summer

FOLLOWING a build up that has seen community action projects and events take place across the Region over the last few months, Festival Manchester is culminating in a huge celebration at the festival weekend in Wythenshawe Park, over:- 1 July to 3 of July. A fun fair, family fun zone, white knuckle sports zone and a huge beach are just some of the attractions locals can expect to enjoy; all for free.

Organised by hundreds of churches, businesses and charities The Message Trust and Luis Palau Association, Festival Manchester will also include a high tech gaming lobby, mass children's choir and music from artists including:- Goodboys, Lecrae, Kingdom Choir, Matt Redman, LZ7, Saintz, Guvna B, OTC, Amongst Wolves and SoulBox.

Paul Dennett, Mayor of the City of Salford and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:- "After a really difficult few years following the Covid19 global Pandemic it is great to see community, voluntary and faith based organisations coming together to celebrate the amazing work our residents and communities do all year round through a free family friendly music festival. Festival Manchester will be a real spectacle in celebrating our City Region's rich and diverse talent and creativity, bringing people and communities together, whilst also providing many activities for residents of Greater Manchester and beyond to get involved in."

The event aims to create Region wide transformation across the North West, by bringing local Churches, charities and communities together to help address real societal problems amid the cost of living crisis, such as food poverty, homelessness, the environment and the need for more safe and loving homes for children and teenagers in care.

The run-up to the event has seen multiple:- 'Love Where U Live' community action projects launched to support communities with local issues, such as graffiti and littering. Events for women, businesses and those experiencing homelessness, along with a Schools tour, are also taking place to bring a Christian message of hope to Manchester. As part of the tour, Key Stage 2 pupils in Manchester are being given the chance to join 1 of Festival Manchester's Soul Children Choir performing over the festival weekend, with the Friday evening a dedicated night for youth.

Andy Hawthorne OBE, Founder and CEO of The Message Trust, said:- "From 1 July to 3 July 2022, we're filling Wythenshawe Park with live music, a fun fair, extreme sports, huge beach, hi tech gaming lobby, inflatables, kids zone and so much more that everyone across Greater Manchester and the North West can come and enjoy for free. It's all being put on by hundreds of churches from across our Region who want to bring the community together and share a message of hope with people as they have fun. In the build up to the festival weekend, you may see teams out clearing litter from streets, tidying up gardens or planting some of the 5,000 fruit trees we're adding to the local environment. We can't wait to welcome you to Festival Manchester."

Andrew Palau, from the Luis Palau Association said:- "The world has been through a tough time these past few years with wars throughout the world, incalculable impacts from the Covid crisis, the current cost of living crisis, and so much more. But we have a Christian message of hope that will speak to people in the midst of these circumstances, just as it has done so, unfailingly, throughout the ages. We are honoured to have been invited to join with hundreds of churches and organisations across the North West of England to share this message and how it has impacted us. We believe it will contribute to long-lasting relationships and societal transformation. To all who need encouragement… to those spiritually seeking, please come. You are welcome as our special guest!"

To join in with the festival fun, visit Wythenshawe Park, from:- 4pm to 9:45pm, on Friday 1 July 2022, also from:- 2pm to 9:30pm, on Saturday, 2 July, and on Sunday, 3 July 2022, from:- 2pm to 9:30pm. To find out more about Festival Manchester head to:-


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