Adapting to the current crisis and beyond

Episode 1 – 25 June, 2020

Episode 2 – 2 July, 2020

Episode 3 – 9 July, 2020

Streamed directly to you | 10am BST

Streaming live to you across three half-day episodes, Future of Utilities: The Online Series – adapting to the current crisis and beyond presents a prime opportunity for key utilities players to explore how COVID-19 is transforming the industry.

Listen to senior executives leading discussions on the important issues facing the industry today, participate in live Q&As in every session to get your burning questions answered, and chat, connect and collaborate easily with our market-leading matchmaking and networking app – all without having to step foot outside.

Prime online networking opportunities

With live Q&As in every session and our market-leading networking and matchmaking app, Future of Utilities: The Online Series – adapting to the current crisis and beyond gives you the perfect platform to engage with the industry online and make the virtual connections you need to drive business growth and stay ahead of the curve.

Leaders from across the industry

From customer communications to streamlining operations, stay up to date with the latest developments as the industry adapts to unprecedented disruption without leaving the comfort of your own home. With senior speakers from Northumbrian Water, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy and Cadent Gas leading the conversation – you’re in safe hands.

Understand your future roadmap

Design your future strategies with as much insight as possible by joining episode three – a whole episode dedicated to looking beyond the current crisis. Join the discussions on your laptop as those leading from the front share their priorities, to find solutions to your challenges and seek out new opportunities throughout this time of change.

Episodes

From strategies for vulnerable customers and new debt solutions, to operational efficiency and digital customer journeys, to changing regulation and the impact on the Net Zero targets, these 3 episodes will cover all the important issues affecting you today.

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Episode 1 - Working with customers Thursday, 25 June 2020

Episode 2 - Operational efficiency Thursday, 2 July 2020

Episode 3 - Future roadmaps Thursday, 9 July 2020

10.00: Customer journeys

Welcome address and chair’s opening remarks


Panel discussion

Improving customer journeys to deliver excellence when it matters most

The importance of the experience of a customer when they interact with a service provider is exaggerated during times of crisis because it can trigger an instantaneous and lingering effect on their sense of trust and loyalty. Furthermore, it is crucial that companies interact with their consumers with empathy, care and concern at this difficult time. Customer journeys must be renovated and rejuvenated in order to adapt to a very different context. Join this session to learn how companies are redesigning their communications to refocus on care and creating a connection with their customers at this novel time when they need extra information, guidance and support.


Philippe Commaret, EDF Energy | Future of Utilities
Philippe Commaret

Managing Director, Customers , EDF Energy

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy
Greg Jackson

Chief Executive Officer , Octopus Energy

Lissa Balmer, Wave | Future of Utilities
Lissa Balmer

SME Customer Director , Wave Utilities

Joe Brownless, Affinity Water | Future of Utilities
Joe Brownless

Director of Customer Operations , Affinity Water

Neil Greathead, Smart Communications | Future of Utilities
Neil Greathead

Chief Customer Officer , Smart Communications

11.15: Vulnerable customers

Panel discussion

Lessons from Covid-19 for serving vulnerable customers

As a result of the ongoing global virus pandemic, it has become more important than ever that utilities companies protect and empower their consumers in vulnerable situations. The virus has heightened the impact of being vulnerable, whilst increasing the proportion of the population that fall into the category. Join this discussion to understand how companies can use segmentation to improve their communication channels to improve the journey of all customers – especially those in vulnerable circumstances, to explore the tools available to assess affordability and manage debt and cash flow,  and gain insight into the benefits of machine learning and AI to understand and predict which customers are vulnerable.


Meghna Tewari, Ofgem | Future of Utilities
Meghna Tewari

Head of Vulnerability and Consumer Policy , Ofgem

Russell Lane, Utilita | Future of Utilities
Russell Lane

Head of Customer Experience , Utilita

12.05: Credit control

Panel discussion

Overhauling approaches to credit control in the utilities industry in response to the virus

The utilities sector has always struggled with consumer debt due to its duty to supply. However this problem has been exacerbated as a result of the global pandemic, with a sharp increase in vacant commercial properties resulting in violation of commercial supply contracted usage volumes, cessation of debt collection activities in some cases, households struggling to keep up with their bills and changing patterns of consumption in combination with a reduction in meter read frequency. This means that for utilities companies, cash flow management is now more urgent than ever before. Join this discussion to understand how technology can help you to protect and maintain your cash flow in the face of this unprecedented uncertainty.


Nick Eves, Southern Water
Nick Eves

Head of Strategic Customer Insight , Southern Water

10.00: Streamlining operations

Welcome address and chair’s opening remarks


Panel discussion

Overhauling network management to maintain resilience throughout the pandemic

Coronavirus is putting the operations of the utilities industry into the spotlight. Keeping the lights on and the taps running at this time of lockdown and national crisis is putting enormous pressure on the operational processes of energy networks and water companies. Join this session to understand how the industry’s infrastructure ecosystem is redesigning its operational strategies to respond with agility to the disruption.


Joanne Harrison United Utilities, Future of Utilities Summit 2019
Jo Harrison

Director of Environment and Asset Strategy , United Utilities

Jonathan Booth, Electrcity North West | Future of Utilities
Jonathan Booth

Head of Asset Management , Electricity North West

11.05: Reducing operational cost

Panel discussion

Taking advantage of technology to deliver operational cost savings

Networks are under pressure to maintain continuity of service, but are facing workforce shortages, supply chain disruptions and social distancing requirements are restricting their work in the field; yet the increase in vulnerable customers means that the pressures to maintain service is more important than ever. Technology can help businesses to tackle these challenges cost effectively. Join these experts to gain insights into opportunities for operational cost savings to alleviate pressure on your network.


Stewart Reid SSE Future of Utilities
Stewart Reid

Head of Future Networks , SSEN

12.05: Improving incident response

Panel discussion

Using technology to enable better decision making and transform incident response

From assessing which repairs are critically necessary to using drones for remote inspections, from digital twins to life cycle modelling enabling improved decision-making, technology can revolutionise incident response for utilities networks. At a time when more consumers are vulnerable than ever before, its important that networks’ incident response is second-to-none. Join this discussion to understand how technology can enable you to make decisions rapidly, efficiently and confidently when it matters most.


John Duckworth, Cadent | Future of Utilities
John Duckworth

Director of Network Strategy , Cadent Gas

Douglas Whitfield, South East Water | Future of Utilities
Douglas Whitfield

Operations Director , South East Water

10.00: Corporate strategy

Welcome address and chair’s opening remarks


Leaders’ Forum

Pivoting in the face of adversity: strategic priorities to remain robust for customers

The coronavirus is transforming every aspect of our lives. The utilities industry is fighting to keep the lights on and the taps running and is facing new and heightened pressures: from strategies for vulnerable customers to new debt solutions, from operational efficiency to digital customer journeys, from changing regulation to the impact on the Net Zero targets. Join this Leaders’ Forum to understand the changing priorities of senior utilities leaders as they support the nation throughout the crisis and beyond.


Heidi Mottram
Heidi Mottram CBE

Chief Executive Officer , Northumbrian Water

Michael-Lewis
Michael Lewis

Chief Executive Officer , E.ON UK

11.15: Regulation

Fireside chat

Beyond COVID-19: envisioning a roadmap for industry frameworks in the wake of the crisis

This session will feature an interactive interview between Ofgem and Ofwat discussing what has changed for the future of utilities regulation as a result of the coronavirus. Sign up early to send in your questions in advance.


12.05: Innovation Hub

Following the pandemic, it’s more crucial than ever that utilities companies look beyond their horizons for collaboration and inspiration. We’ve hand-picked some of the leading innovators and innovations that are disrupting the playing field.


12.25: Net Zero

Panel discussion

Has coronavirus sidelined Net Zero?

With attention diverted towards COVID-19, the UK’s efforts towards the Net Zero commitment have been put on the back burner. Although the pause might only be temporary, with the cancellation of COP26, there are bound to be significant delays. What are the priorities of the utilities industry in pushing the agenda forward? Does the virus give the opportunity to redraft the Net Zero timeline in the light of the new reality? The economic contraction has led to a substantial decrease in fossil fuel prices, how is this likely to affect energy markets and the drive for low carbon energy sources in the future? Will the lockdown create long-term changes in behaviour and how does this affect the roadmap to Net Zero? Join this discussion on the contribution of the utilities industry in reducing the carbon emissions of the UK economy.


Rachel McEwen, SSE | Future of Utilities
Rachel McEwen

Chief Sustainability Officer , SSE

Graeme Cooper, National Grdi | Future of Utilities
Graeme Cooper

Project Director - Transport Decarbonisation , National Grid

David Riley, Anglian Water | Future of Utilities
David Riley

Head of Carbon Neutrality , Anglian Water

Speakers

Heidi Mottram

Heidi Mottram CBE

Chief Executive Officer, Northumbrian Water

Michael-Lewis

Michael Lewis

Chief Executive Officer, E.ON UK

Philippe Commaret, EDF Energy | Future of Utilities

Philippe Commaret

Managing Director, Customers, EDF Energy

Rachel McEwen, SSE | Future of Utilities

Rachel McEwen

Chief Sustainability Officer, SSE

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy

Greg Jackson

Chief Executive Officer, Octopus Energy

Joanne Harrison United Utilities, Future of Utilities Summit 2019

Jo Harrison

Director of Environment and Asset Strategy, United Utilities

John Duckworth, Cadent | Future of Utilities

John Duckworth

Director of Network Strategy, Cadent Gas

Lissa Balmer, Wave | Future of Utilities

Lissa Balmer

SME Customer Director, Wave Utilities

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