Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th April 2016

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 29TH APRIL - 5TH MAY 2016 | 13 Policy & Regulation Robert Marrill, managing director, Kelda Retail "There's a lot of focus on the here and now – the processes, the systems, MOSL, regulation – which is important, but actually that's, in my mind, just a moment in time. I'm more interested in where we'll be in 2018, because I think there's going to be a lot of change between now and then, and we need to be planning for that." Views from the top table: In association with: Graham Southall, managing director, Thames Water Commercial Services "It is a bit of a dichotomy. We definitely need the cultural split and the ability to operate as a low-cost business, but we want to make sure we've still got links into the rest of the business, so we can draw on the expertise. We want to make sure we still confidently understand as much as you can know about trade effluent or whatever it might be." Tim Sargent, business development director, Morrison Utility Services "Potentially in this market, we're going to have brokers, retailers, wholesalers, service providers and customers, and I just wonder whether we're going to be able to keep that promise of good customer service all the way through that chain." Lissa Balmer, project manager – business retail, Northumbrian Water "I think initially there was speculation that Graeme Wright, associate director of utilities, Fujitsu UK & Ireland "There's a tension between wholesale and retail that seems to be already there, and I think even if customers do stay where they are, they'll get benefit because of that tension." 1. Communication. Larger customers are very aware of changes, but SMEs are much less so, because companies tend to have less of a dynamic relationship with them. 2. Customers. We assume customers are not going to move, but if someone offers a good deal, why wouldn't they switch? 3. Wholesale. How nimbly and how quickly are wholesale businesses adapting? Wholesale businesses will need to adapt and change as the retail market develops. 4. Timing. Will the market open on time? Timing will be tight, but there is a great deal of pressure for it to be ready in time. 5. Transformation. The sector is about to be completely blown apart, and a benefit for the customer is the ultimate endgame. Five key points to take away all the supermarkets would apply for self-supply licences and then that went very quiet, once they realised that the margin will be low – so I think this may be a barrier for new entrants."

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