The Future of Utilities has been setting the standard for strategic and forward-focused content for 21 years, bringing together CEOs from the major utilities to explore the burning issues at the heart of operations.
This 3 day conference consists of The Utilities Customer and The Utilities Summit to tie together everything you need to know about the future of the utilities industry. With three days of tailorable content and over 50 speakers, this leading utilities conference equips you with the know-how to succeed in the coming year. The event regularly attracts over 250 attendees from energy, water, distribution and gas backgrounds, and with over 10 hours of networking, industry collaboration is high on the agenda.
Highlights in 2016:
Monday, 14th March 2016
Session One: Calibrating towards the customer: the new face of utilities
- What are the right components for a customer-focused business?
- Challenging assumptions: what breakthroughs have been made in restoring reputation?
- Swapping skills: in which aspects of customer operations can utilities best learn from each other?
- How can staff be empowered to excel in customer service?
- How can utilities evolve to meet 21st Century customer expectations? What are the obstacles?
- Could the connected home threaten utilities with a new range of competitors?
Session Two: Ensuring agility to deliver a customer-focused business
- Starting off small: building a trusted customer brand
- Values and beliefs: instilling a ‘customer first’ culture
- Customer service: turning a cause for complaint into a positive experience
- In it for the long haul: how can these principles be safeguarded as the business grows?
Utilities are experiencing unprecedented urgency to deliver great customer experiences. That being the case, how do organisations know which elements of their experience support both high value customer relationships and financial objectives? Simon Fraser, senior director at InMoment, a global Voice of Customer leader, will share the five essential steps every utility must take to identify and take effective action to drive the right changes for your organisation.
Session Three: Meeting customer expectations: the drive towards digital
Keeping customers informed: the multi-channel approach
UK Power Networks has been active on social media since 2011, giving customers live updates on power cuts and quickly responding to queries. Adding to this, UKPN also have a 24hour power cut line and offer customers the facility to sign up for text updates should their power go down. Here, UKPN will explore how and why it is embracing the digital in its day-to-day.
The P2P model: digitally disrupting the energy market
Cleantech innovator, Piclo, has created an online marketplace to connect renewable energy generators with consumers. This presentation will explore how Piclo’s platform is empowering participation in the energy market, and why digital innovation is already transforming utilities.
Session Four: The age of hyperconnectivity: what it means for utilities
Extended reach, low power cellular solutions for the Utilities Sector
Making the most of engagement in smart: laying the foundations for innovation
- Championing innovation across utilities: how can government best lend its support?
- How can the regulatory frameworks better help facilitate innovation? Is regulation a catalyst or barrier?
- Collaboration: which areas are most ripe for cooperation? What is the best vehicle to aid collaboration?
- From customer service to asset management: which innovative technologies are having the greatest impact?
- A springboard for success: how can all utilities build on the smart meter roll out?
- Next generation customer propositions: which products, services and business models are set to give customers the best value?
Tuesday, 15th March 2016
Session Five: Prospering in a challenging environment
Delivering for shareholders and customers at a time of transformation
- Is government policy fostering a buoyant investment environment?
- How have CMA inquiries and regulatory appeals activity affected the climate for utilities?
- What progress has been made with putting customers at the heart of operations?
- What is the optimal business structure for a 21st Century utility? How will business structures evolve for the 21st Century utility?
- How will water market opening impact on utilities as a whole?
- Has the threat from retail-focused new entrants increased?
Session Six: The landscape for 21st Century Utilities
The future of utilities regulation
- What are the hallmarks of a well-functioning and competitive market?
- Prescription, outcomes or principles? How has the regulatory approach developed and where is it headed?
- To what extent can regulatory intervention become a barrier to effective competition?
- What will the long-term impact be of the CMA inquiry into the energy supply market?
- Where is the balance shifting between regulation and competition?
- What is the scope for greater European regulatory co-operation in utilities?
Session Seven: Streams
- Stream A: Keeping the lights on: the outlook for generation
- Stream B: Retail: achieving the competitive advantage
- Stream C: Entrenching innovation in asset management
- The scale of the dilemma: what needs building and what actually pays?
- Decarbonisation and stalling in nuclear: charting their effects on investment and fleet composition
- U-turns or overarching coherence? The consequences of government policy
- How is regulatory change affecting investment?
- Managing a diverse portfolio: understanding and overcoming the challenges
- A long life fleet: putting together the business case
- Managing the skills pipeline: attracting and retaining talent
- What are the emerging threats in the generation environment?
Hinkley Point C is a historic project, and the decision on its future, as well as the prospect of international investment, heralds a juncture in UK energy security. In this presentation, EDF will discuss the project to date and what recent announcements mean for its future.
- Understanding your market: recognising differing customer needs
- Diversification: building a product offering grounded in customer insight
- A new level of understanding: how is technology helping to build a more accurate picture of the customer?
Overcoming homogeneity: winning and retaining customers
Reflecting on the previous sessions, delegates will have 15 minutes to discuss strategies for winning customers and inspiring loyalty, after which their insights will be fed back to the panel. Points to consider include:
- What marketing strategies can help providers stand out from the crowd?
- What value-added products and services can help win custom?
- In it for the long run: what factors drive customer loyalty?
- The need to innovate: defining the drivers and setting out the challenges
- Collaboration: fostering an ethos of creative thinking
- The innovation cycle: from testing to implementation
- What technologies are leading the way in combatting present and future challenges?
- Outcomes not outputs: embedding the cultural shift
- The long game: recalibrating towards longer-term objectives
- Putting the customer first: what have been the obstacles?
- How has taking ownership of risks encouraged innovation?
The Birmingham Resilience Project: upgrading an ageing asset with minimal disruption to customers
The Elan Valley Aqueduct is the main source of water supply for Birmingham, serving 4.2 million homes and businesses. After a century of use the aqueduct is in need of refurbishment and upgrading, yet under current conditions the aqueduct can only be out of service for a few days at a time before the water supply to Birmingham is halted. Here, Severn Trent will discuss how alternative methods of supply will be used to meet the needs of Birmingham whilst the aqueduct is upgraded.
Session Eight: The evolution of utilities: where next?
It’s a time of big change in the utilities market. We’ve all heard of the Death Spiral and other harbingers of doom for the industry. In times of disruption; innovation, new ways of working and new technologies will be critical to success. But they can also be a distraction and a waste of time and resources. Here, David Socha will discuss how big data & analytics - despite the hype - is critical to the 21st Century utility business, using some real examples of how data & analytics is already contributing big numbers to the bottom line. David will also demonstrate how big data can enable better decisions, greater effectiveness and even new business models for the next generation utility.
Predicting the future of utilities
In this session, delegates will use their smartphone to answer a series of questions about the utilities industry, ranging from the current state of play to their predictions for the future. Delegates will be able to test whether the panel’s views are consistent with the room’s as the panellists will discuss each question first, after which the audience’s answers will be revealed.
Wednesday, 16th March 2016
Session Nine: Investing in utilities: where is it needed, how will it happen and from whom?
Energy and water projects account for £270bn of the £411bn National Infrastructure Plan (NIP). The NIP is a bottom-up assessment of planned investment in UK infrastructure to 2020 and beyond. This presentation will give a brief outline of the energy and water projects in the pipeline and discuss the implications for investor certainty and visibility.
- Measuring up: considering the regulatory, political and market risk in utilities
- A safe haven? Have regulated activities created a safe bet?
- Beyond the regulated return: how can higher risk investments be made more attractive?
All investments carry risk, and internal investment in improving your business efficiency and sustainability has as much need for control as any other. But there are ways of minimising risk and maximising the return on investment in change.
Powervault: angel investors and crowdfunding
Powervault is a UK-based start-up that set the world record for cleantech funding, raising over £150,000 in under eight hours of launching its first funding round via the Crowdcube platform. Powervault has now completed its second funding round, having raised over £700,000, and now aims to install 50,000 home energy storage systems by 2020. This presentation will explore the potential of innovative investment methods to bring disruptive products to market.
Session Ten: Streams
- Stream A: The connected home, smart meters and the customer: looking to the future
- Stream B: Managing complex infrastructure projects
- It starts with the customer: designing with the end-user in mind
- Communicating the benefits: making sense of the jargon
- Realising the full potential: overcoming the barriers to mass adoption
- Building the ecosystem: how far is there to go?
- The criticality of a customer-centric approach to the roll-out
- How can we minimise costs and how can we maximise benefits?
- Are we on course to deliver the best possible outcomes for customers?
- Building a real-time data connection with customers’ homes
- Using data science to understand and improve energy use within the home
- Building and gamifying new digital touchpoints to engage customers more closely
- Exploring new business models enabled by new data and analytics
Planning a complex project: upgrading Greater Glasgow’s waste water network
Greater Glasgow is undergoing the biggest investment in the network since Victorian times, including the construction of the 3.1 mile long Shieldhall Tunnel. In this presentation Scottish Water will discuss how they planned, and are delivering, the £250m project.
Network Rail: rebuilding they Great Western Railway
The 2012 floods brought substantial damage to Network Rail’s, causing parts of the Western Route to wash away into the sea. In this presentation, Mike Gallop will outline how they planned and delivered the project safely, restoring services in a short timescale.
Delivering through complexity: meeting modern infrastructure demands
- Identifying the hurdles: what hinders cost-effective and timely project delivery?
- What has been the impact of alliances and partnerships on supply chains and project delivery?
- Embedding stakeholder engagement from conception through to fruition
- Which technologies have the greatest potential to help manage complex projects?
Session Eleven: Tomorrow’s world today: driving innovation
Outlining the challenges
In this session, three leading industry figures will outline their views on a critical challenge for the UK utilities sector before starting a wider debate among the panel. Questions will be taken from the floor throughout.
The rise of distributed energy
Population increase, rising population density and climate change
The demand management challenge
Lightning presentations: tomorrow’s solutions
Cardiff University made headlines with Britain’s first energy positive house.
How renovating moorlands can reduce flood risk.
Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your network - this year's conference will provide 10+ hours of networking! The Future of Utilities regulary attracts over 250+ senior representatives. Here is a breakdown of last year's attendees:
Companies that attended include:
- Affinity Water
- Anglian Water
- Apex CoVantage
- Arcus Infrastructure Partners
- Auriga Services Fund & Trust Managers
- Balfour Beatty
- Baringa Partners
- British Energy
- British Gas
- Brookfield Utilities
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- Canal & River Trust
- Capita Property and Infrastructure
- CEZ Group
- Citizens Advice
- Cognizant Technology Solutions
- Co-operative Energy
- Crown Estate
- Danish Energy Regulatory Authority
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Department of Energy & Climate Change
- Department of Enterprise Trade & Investment
- Drax Power
- EC Harris
- Economic Insight
- EDF Energy
- EDP Renewables
- Electricity North West
- Eneco Energy
- Engage Consulting
- ESB Group
- ESB International
- EXL Service UK
- Ferranti Computer Systems
- Furnell Consult
- GDF SUEZ Energy UK
- Guernsey Electricity
- HM Treasury
- Intergraph UK
- Kuwait Oil Company
- Lafarge Tarmac
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Lowri Beck Services
- Mizuho Corporate Bank
- Murphy Group
- National Audit Office
- New Power
- Newton Europe
- Northern Gas Networks
- Noura University
- Oliver Wyman Group
- Ombudsman Services
- Opus Trust Marketing
- Oxera Consulting
- Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
- Pierre Audoin Consultants
- RWE Innogy
- RWE npower
- Saxton Bampfylde
- Scottish Water
- Severn Trent Services
- Siemens AG
- Siemens Energy
- Siemens Metering Services
- SMBC Europe
- Southern Water
- Tech Mahindra
- Thames Water
- The Water Report
- TVS Supply Chain Solutions
- UK Power Networks
- United Utilities
- University of Greenwich
- University of Oxford
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Sussex
- Veolia Water UK
- Wales & West Utilities
- Water Industry Commission for Scotland
- Wessex Water
- Wheatley Associates
- Yorkshire Water
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