Utility Week

UTILITY Week 11th September 2015

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26 | 11TH - 17TH SEPTEMBER 2015 | UTILITY WEEK Event Utility Week Congress, 14-15 October 2015 Community A meeting of minds On 14-15 October, leaders from UK utilities will converge on Birmingham to debate the busi- ness implications of the industry's most press- ing challenges at Utility Week Congress 2015. I f necessity is the mother of invention then we must be on the brink of a splurge of ingenious creations from UK utilities. A range of forces – from regulation to technology to climate change and demo- graphic shis – are coming to a head in and around the sector, which will necessitate big changes in business models, infrastructure and culture for utility companies. In some cases, such as the national smart meter implementation programme and the opening of the non-domestic water mar- ket, these are changes that will need to be achieved with uncharacteristic agility. Company executives therefore have seri- ous questions to ask of themselves and their peers about their readiness to lead change – and their ability to do so within the sector's regulatory frameworks. At Utility Week Con- gress, we will play host to a meeting of the Five key points Utility Week Congress 2015 takes place in a climate of: 1. Market reform: Both the water and energy sectors are heading into periods of significant market reform with new regulatory models emerging. These changes will affect approaches to customer engagement, competition and value creation. They will change the way utilities formulate their business plans. 2. Demand for infrastructure investment: Ageing infrastructure and an urgent decarbonisation agenda demand significant investment from utilities. Yet at the same time, technology and policy uncertainty make for fragile investor confidence in the sector. 3. Growing customer expectation against a backdrop of mistrust: Customer engagement strategies are often littered with platitudes, but improving engagement and trust is vital for utilities under pressure to demonstrate transparency and realise the commercial benefits of delivering data-driven utility services. 4. Increasing connectivity and asset intelligence: Advances in remote monitoring and automation mean opportunities to create radically more efficient and intelligent utility infrastructures are now within reach. But do utilities have the skills, strategic intent and regulatory room for manoeuvre to grasp this potential? 5. Decentralising energy systems and the integration agenda: Smart grids and renewables have dominated visions of the future, but questions remain unanswered about the commercial mechanisms that will support a dynamic and decentralised energy market. Meanwhile, the potential of integrating electricity, heat, transport and water is unrealised. utility sector's foremost minds, and create an environment for constructive debate on these topics. With an impressive line-up of influential individuals confirmed to participate, Utility Week Congress will provide a hub for educa- tion and the exchange of informed perspec- tives on the challenges and opportunities for utility companies today. Sessions over the two days will focus on different aspects of the business climate in turn, from market reform and changes in regulation through investment and investor confidence, cus- tomer expectations and trust, technology change and the rise of smart utility models. With plenty of opportunity for debate and networking, attendees are guaranteed to meet with useful insights to take back to their businesses. www.uw-congress.net Other prominent speakers confirmed to participate at Utility Week Congress 2015 include: •  Water sector: Cathryn Ross, chief executive, Ofwat; Ben Jeffs, chief executive, MOSL; Simon Cocks, chief executive, Affinity Water; Christopher Loughlin, chief executive, South East Water. •  Energy sector: Stephen Littlechild, fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cam- bridge; Mark Horsley, chief executive, Northern Gas Networks; Basil Scarcella, chief executive, UK Power Networks. For full speaker and programme details go to: www.uw-congress.net

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