Utility Week

Utility Week 3rd March 2017

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

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UtILItY WEEK | 3rd - 9th march 2017 | 23 Operations & Assets Paul Bircham, networks strategy and technical services director, Electricity North West "Stakeholders have expressed concerns that vulnerable cus- tomers could suffer as a result of initiatives to drive low-carbon. The most affluent could go off grid, leav- ing the vulnerable to pick up the cost of the networks." James Robbins, group chief information officer, Drax "Technology is a tool, not an end." Views from the top table: Tim Stiven, interim head of delivery, Energy Systems Catapult "There is a lack of a common service lan- guage between sup- plier and consumer in energy – no means of offering and accepting differentiated value propositions. In other sectors, like telecoms, this is well estab- lished." 1. Vulnerable customers. The most vulnerable should benefit from innovation. 2. Innovation. Some new technologies have benefited only those who are able to afford them. 3. Digitisation. The digitisation of services will change customer demands and expectations. 4. Aspiration. Regulators and government must have a strong role in defining an aspirational path. 5. Don't be afraid to fail. The failure paradox – it is important for learning, but a service failure is seen as a disaster that must be avoided. Key points to take away Brian Davies, interim chief infor- mation officer, Viridian 'By its nature, the energy market needs to operate in a sub-optimal mode, because of the critical infrastructural nature of the services we provide. Therefore we need to be cognisant of this when looking at how best innova- tion can improve or change the services we provide.' Innovation in UK utilities: a state of the nation report In a time of market disruption and technical transformation, how are utility companies squaring up to the innovation challenge? Research from Utility Week, commissioned by Wipro, explored this big question. To download the insight report, visit: http://bit.ly/2lGSzAQ produced in partnership with: Arun Krishnamurthi, vice president & global head utili- ties, Wipro "We are happy that the council has shaped up well. The objective of the council to understand, on an ongoing basis, the concerns and chal- lenges facing the senior individuals of the UK's utilities, and to feed this back to the sector more widely, has been well received. We strongly believe the council will enable the building of strong, smart innovation cultures which make the most of available resources and form a pivot point for the industry, swinging it in a new direction."

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