Future of Utilities Smart Energy Inverse

8-9 March 2022 | The Guoman Tower Hotel | London

 

Setting out a smarter route to net zero for energy retail, grids and metering

Future of Utilities is uniting the brightest minds in energy retail to set out a smarter future for networks, customer experience, operations and business strategies.

 

With the sector reeling from a global energy crisis and still building back from the pandemic, the route to Net Zero has never been more complex. Now is the time to rewrite your strategies, restructure transformation agendas and reset the short-term milestones needed to get to 2050 with network flexibility, digitalised CX, smart meters, customer engagement and EV product offerings.

“Smart Energy is the must-attend event for utilities. Excellent speakers – informative and entertaining, and really addressing the key topics”

Rebecca Dibb-Simkin
Chief Product Officer, Octopus Energy

Speakers

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy

Greg Jackson

Chief Executive Officer, Octopus Energy

Phil Jones

President & Chief Executive Officer, Northern Powergrid

Chris Lovatt

Chief Operating Officer – Energy Infrastructure Services, E.ON UK

Future of Utilities - Lauren Lewis

Lauren Lewis

Director of Business Change and Transformation, OVO Energy

Chris Stark, CCC | Future of Utilities

Chris Stark

Chief Executive Officer, Committee on Climate Change

Rebeacca-Sedler, EDF Energy

Rebecca Sedler

Director of Policy & Regulation, EDF Energy

Future of Utilities: Suleman Alli, UK Power Networks

Suleman Alli

Director of Customer Service, Strategy, Regulation and Information Systems, UK Power Networks

Poppy Mills

Poppy Mills

UK Director, Ubitricity

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Experience Everything

Collaborate throughout disruption

Reflect, discuss and set out solutions with other innovators while assessing the impact of the recent price crisis and the milestones needed to reach Net Zero.

Smart Energy conference
Smart Energy conference - networking

Expand your network

Nothing beats face-to-face connections, so take the time to make meaningful connections that will drive your transformation agenda.

Be inspired by the experts

Let new strategies be formed before you in thought-provoking panel discussions and hear the latest strategic direction from industry-leading CEOs.

Smart Energy conference - speaker

Hot Topics

Rethinking Net Zero

From Net Zero behaviour changes and the impact of the energy crisis and the profitability question, hear the experts share their thoughts on the future of the utility-customer relationship.

Smart meters and smart tariffs

Rethink strategies for targeting hard to reach people and properties and work towards a more data-driven future for smart meters and tariff structures.

Accelerating network flexibility

Explore the next steps for grid digitalisation, what skills may be needed to fuel this change and how the transition from network to service operator is laying the foundations for a more complex and greener energy future.

Decarbonising transport and heat

Requiring huge transformation across industries and sectors, hear what energy experts have to say, including where innovation is most needed and how to bring the customer with you on this change.

Green skills, strategies and operations

With Net Zero on the horizon and the massive impact of digitalisation, Brexit and the pandemic still playing out, hear how you can rethink strategies to deliver the long-term skills and jobs needed across the sector.

Engaging the customer in net zero

How do you bring the customer with you on the monumental journey ahead and ensure a just and fair transition for all? Hear how experts from across the sector are tackling these critical issues and more.

“Future of Utilities Smart Energy conference brought together senior influencers and decision makers across the utility space to discuss how technology is transforming energy. The combination of insightful speakers with real-world experience and an engaged, knowledgeable audience created opportunities for valuable conversations and networking. I look forward to participating again in future.”

David Hill
Commercial Director, Open Engergi

Plan your day

Check out our agenda, plan ahead to cram as much killer content as possible

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Day 1
Tuesday, 8 March 2022 8 Mar

Day 2
Wednesday, 9 March 2022 9 Mar

09.30

Welcome address and chair's opening remarks

Session 1

Thriving in a disrupted energy future

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09.40

Keynote

Transforming the utility-customer relationship in the face of market disruption

The pressures of the recent energy price crisis have been felt in all corners of the sector, most particularly in customer perceptions of energy supply and the financial implications for suppliers. Looking out on the huge customer behaviour change and business transformation needed to reach Net Zero, suppliers are faced with the challenge of maintaining a competitive customer proposition while also grappling with the pressure to be as cost-effective as possible. Greg will share Octopus’s experiences of supporting customers through the recent crisis and it’s vision to become a trusted partner for customers’ green transition through clear communication strategies and the development of new tariffs, products and services.


Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy
Greg Jackson

Chief Executive Officer
Octopus Energy

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10.00

Interview

Prioritising resilience, scalability, agility in a net zero future: succeeding in the next era of energy innovation

  • Defining resilience in the new energy future: how far are energy companies meeting this goal and what change can accelerate the journey?
  • How can end-to-end digitalisation be leveraged to boost resilience in the face of increasing dependence on renewable generation?
  • Giants can dance too: how can companies leverage agile operating models at scale to keep up with fast-paced change, market disruption and the pressure of the Net Zero goal?

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10.20

Keynote

Navigating a more complex energy ecosystem: assessing progress and next steps for the DSO transition

Driving performance, efficiency and flexibility from the network to ensure it can meet future energy demands of all types of customers at lower cost is the central ethos of Northern Powergrid’s DSO transition strategy. Phil will share Northern Powergrid’s vision for grid digitalisation in the coming decade, with the EV uptake set to accelerate and more localised micro-generation adding an extra layer of complexity to the energy system.


Phil Jones

President & Chief Executive Officer
Northern Powergrid

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10.40

Panel discussion

From the supply crisis and market disruption to Net Zero: supporting customers during the transition

  • What will be the long-term impact of the recent disruption to the market and spike in energy prices?
  • Prioritising milestones for long-term change: how can organisations ensure progress continues despite short-term disruption?
  • Assessing the impact on the customer: what extra support might be needed and how can this fit into the broader support needed to ensure a just and fair green transition?
  • Disruption, decentralisation, digitalisation and decarbonisation: exploring the challenges of navigating an increasingly complex energy ecosystem
  • Preparing for the coming EV boom: where do the most pressing challenges lie and what should be key priorities?
  • Tackling the heat challenge: balancing the need to innovate at pace, support the customer and avoid stranded assets
  • Regulation, policy, industry codes: how might governance and support need to adapt to support the industry through the price crisis and future change?

 


Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy
Greg Jackson

Chief Executive Officer
Octopus Energy

Phil Jones

President & Chief Executive Officer
Northern Powergrid

Rebeacca-Sedler, EDF Energy
Rebecca Sedler

Director of Policy & Regulation
EDF Energy

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11.15

Refreshment break

Session 2   |  2 × Streams

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STREAM
Blue Stage: Serving changing customer groups with speed and care 1
Red Stage: Tackling the next wave of network digitalisation and smart innovation 2

Blue Stage: Serving changing customer groups with speed and care

11.45

Keynote

The first step to CX success? Achieving a holistic overview of your customer base

In the face of impressive CX in other sectors, today’s energy customer expects seamless, personalised service from their supplier. With the market disruption of recent months and the transfer of customers from defaulting suppliers causing extra pressure, achieving a holistic overview of customer data is more important than ever before. Our speaker will share how their organisation is achieving this by improving both the quality of its data and of the insights that are able to be drawn from the datasets. The speaker will then outline how providing a more personalised customer experience with this tech in place has improved customer loyalty and trust.


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12.05

Interview

Resilient, customer-centric, efficient: stand out with CX excellence

  • Smart tactics for navigating the coming era of disruption: assessing how CX can be leveraged as part of long-term strategies for success in the green transition
  • From the contact centre and complaints to the omnichannel virtual agent: assessing the applications of intelligent automation
  • Keeping up with stricter regulations and keeping costs down: key steps to a more efficient future

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12.25

Fireside chat

Personalising the experience for SMEs and microbusinesses

  • From advice on energy efficiency to flexible tariffs: what makes a compelling, personalised experience for non-domestic customers?
  • Absorbing customers from default suppliers: what new pressures might this bring to CX service levels?
  • Seamless service to inspire long-term loyalty: making it easy to manage energy usage and carbon footprint
  • How do multisite customers present an added challenge and what value-add services can help customers?
  • Electric assets and electric vehicles: finding opportunity in new products and services

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12.45

Panel discussion

Seamless, inclusive, personalised: embedding value at every turn of the customer journey

  • Assessing evolving customer needs and wants: how far has the recent price crisis changed customer expectations for CX?
  • Scaling omnichannel services at speed: how can companies support future change by optimising their data strategy?
  • Onboarding, billing, queries: where have the benefits of automation been felt most keenly by customer and organisation?
  • Leveraging automation for cost-saving and adding real value for the customer: how can this be done well?
  • How is automation most useful in enabling services to scale-up fast in times of high pressure?
  • Making CX innovation as inclusive as possible: what more could be done
  • Towards a more nuanced approach to serving vulnerabilities: how to achieve a thorough oversight of these customer groups, their specific needs and service preferences?
  • Putting data to use to personalise the experience: a key driving force to ensure loyalty and improve customer trust in the face of the green transition?

Adam Firbank photo, British Gas, Future of Utilities speaker
Adam Firbank

Journey Practice Lead Customer Communications
British Gas

Ian Curran

Head of Customer Operations
Budget Energy

Future of Utilities - Markel Palmstierna
Markel Palmstierna – So Energy

Director of Customer Operations
So Energy

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Red Stage: Tackling the next wave of network digitalisation and smart innovation

11.45

Panel discussion

From management to maintenance and beyond: towards a network-wide digital view

  • How could networks help in managing current and future supply problems in the industry and how might this impact transformation agendas?
  • What updates do core IT systems need before further transformation can be put into action?
  • Making the most of network data: developing data engineering expertise and extending advanced analytics capabilities
  • How might the development of more predictive maintenance models bring about tech challenges and operational opportunities?
  • How might the control centre and workforce need to adapt as part of this transformation?
  • Anticipating changes to industry governance: what might need to change to support an increasingly digitalised energy network?
  • Funding for innovation, collaborative endeavours or policy cues: how can the industry improve its ability to innovate at pace?

Eric Brown, Energy Systems Catapult | Future of Utiltiies
Eric Brown

Chief Technology Officer
Energy Systems Catapult

Kerri-Anne Harrison
Kerry-Anne Harrison

Head of Change Delivery
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

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12.20

Interview

Inside the network operations centre: maximising value of processing and disseminating data

  • Identifying current pain points in the control centre caused by network digitalisation: where and what’s the solution?
  • Empowering the workforce: what more could be done with data-driven decision making?
  • Achieving a network-wide view: how can companies maximise the value of digital platforms?

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12.40

Fireside chat

An empowered and upskilled future? Assessing the impact of network digitalisation on the field force

  • From the pandemic and smart networks to non-industry employment trends: how are existing forces impacting the kind of skills needed in the field?
  • Adapting skillsets in anticipation of changing needs: making the most of reskilling or recruitment
  • Getting the right information to the right people: unlocking the potential in platforms and new communication channels

 


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13.00

Case study

An update from the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce (EDiT): key outcomes and next steps

Launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in partnership with Ofgem and Innovate UK, this new taskforce aims to continue the Government’s focus on modernising the energy system. Chair of the taskforce, Laura, will share how EDiT is examining the market design, digital architecture and governance of a modern digitalised energy system.


Laura Sandys, CI, Future of Utilities
Laura Sandys

Chair
Energy Digitalisation Taskforce

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13.20

Lunch

Session 3   |  2 × Streams

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STREAM
Blue Stage: Developing cutting-edge service offerings alongside tariff innovation 1
Red Stage: Making the leap to true grid flexibility: next steps for the sector 2

Blue Stage: Developing cutting-edge service offerings alongside tariff innovation

14.30

Fireside chat

Creating compelling propositions for the customer

  • What does a compelling proposition look like for customers, post-energy-crisis?
  • How can companies ensure that new products and services are customer-centric and truly value-add?
  • Evolving lifestyle and home energy management trends on the road to net zero: what new kinds of products and services might this bring about
  • Maximising the value of existing interactions: how can extra products and services be offered at convenient points in the customer journey?
  • Communicating change: how can companies ensure that the message is concise, cohesive and aligns with deliverability?

Future of Utilities - Elvin Nagamootoo
Elvin Nagamootoo

Head of Product - Energy
Shell Energy Retail

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14.50

Case study

Smart tariffs in action: assessing the impact on customer behaviours

With electricity priced at two different rates for peak and off-peak times, Bulb’s new smart tariff is aiming to help customers become more efficient in their energy consumption. Lessons learned from beta testing will help shape the way Bulb develops future product offerings and customer messaging to play their part in the green transition. Our speaker will talk us through these lessons learned and how Bulb plans to utilise its findings.


Kit Fitton

Senior Product Manager
Bulb

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15.10

Interview

Powering real-time billing in a greener energy future: a next-gen approach for both domestic and non-domestic customers

  • Overcoming fragmented systems and legacy processes: how might challenges and solutions evolve as billing becomes a more dynamic process pulling in real-time data?
  • Simplified customer handling, account management and live balances: assessing the benefits of efficient CRM integration
  • Looking towards future innovation in tariffs and energy products: what back-end innovations may be needed to support these developments?

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15.30

Panel discussion

Mapping out the next wave of change for energy tariffs

  • Assessing the impact of the recent price crisis: how have customers expectations for tariffs and bills evolved?
  • How can suppliers continue to offer appealing tariff propositions despite the pressure of high wholesale energy prices?
  • Customer messaging for green tariffs: are companies currently hitting the right notes and what could be changed to encourage uptake?
  • Looking towards a more dynamic and complex future for bills: what level of information do customers need to know and how is this best presented
  • Taking EV tariffs mainstream: how can companies create a compelling proposition for all types of customer?
  • From multi-site challenges to serving electric fleets: what added challenges do non-domestic customers pose for suppliers?
  • Exploring new options for payments and their potential to reduce friction for customers and reduce operational costs for suppliers
  • Whether it’s product development and or tariff innovation: how can companies ensure affordability and inclusion are championed at every stage of this journey?

Future of Utilities - Chris Carberry
Chris Carberry

Smart Solutions Director
Scottish Power

Rachel Mills
Rachel Mills

Senior Policy Researcher
Citizens Advice

Charlie Cook photo, Rightcharge, Future of Utilities speaker
Charlie Cook

Founder
Rightcharge

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Red Stage: Making the leap to true grid flexibility: next steps for the sector

14.30

Panel discussion

Becoming a service operator in a smart world: next steps for big change

  • Unlocking the power of a flexible energy system: how have recent events shown that this is more important than ever?
  • Assessing recent and future transformation milestones for grid digitalisation
  • Mapping out the network: how can different data sources be coherently compiled to create a holistic overview of supply and demand
  • Coping with increasing amounts of distributed generation: what challenges will this present to the grid?
  • Maximising the value of customer flexibility: strategies for engaging with the customer and getting necessary tech in place
  • Digging into customer engagement: assessing the role of different industry players and who should be leading the way?
  • What market developments might be needed to help the industry cope with increasing intermittency?

Ben Godfrey - Western Power Distribution
Ben Godfrey

Network Strategy Team Manager
Western Power Distribution

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, UK Power Networks | Future of Utilities
Sotiris Georgiopoulos

Head of Smart Grid Development
UK Power Networks

Future of Utilities - Amy Weltevreden
Amy Weltevreden – National Grid ESO

Structuring & Optimisation Manager
National Grid ESO

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15.05

Interview

Tapping into the power of digital platforms to connect and control distributed assets

  • Managing, processing and streamlining network data: what key challenges stand in the way of achieving a network-wide view?
  • Maximising the value of the dashboard: converting large volumes of data into cohesive and relevant information
  • Preparing for demand-side management: next steps for getting the tech in place

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15.25

Case study

Putting forecasting insights into action for future transformation: making use of data-driven scenario plans

Building on it’s decarbonisation pathway, Electricity North West has developed a set of ‘Distribution future electricity scenarios’ that supports future development by identifying where and when new capacity will be needed. These forecast scenarios will be used to identify where further supply may be needed and what asset-based interventions may be required to ensure extra supply can be delivered at each grid supply point. Our speaker will talk us through strategies for accurate forecasting, and how ENWL is putting these insights into action to prepare for future peaks in demand.


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15.45

Fireside chat

Navigating the cybersecurity challenge: keeping pace with grid digitalisation

  • Protecting data, operational processes and functions: where do the key risk areas lie?
  • Coping with an increasingly complicated market from the growth in distributed resources: how might existing strategies need to be scaled up or adapted?
  • Keeping pace with rules and regulations to continue achieving and retaining compliance: how might this process become more complex with increased digitalisation?

Future of Utilities: Jon Wells, OSGP Alliance
Jon Wells

Chair
OSGP Alliance

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16.05

Refreshment break

Session 4   |  2 × Streams

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STREAM
Blue Stage: Towards a data-driven future for smart meter innovation 1
Red Stage: Interopability, reliability, affordability: priorities for the EV boom 2

Blue Stage: Towards a data-driven future for smart meter innovation

16.30

Case study

Inside Italy’s mass-rollout strategy: a revolution for supplier business processes?

State-controlled energy provider Enel has installed smart meters to more than 99 per cent of properties. This smart meter revolution has required Enel to better leverage its rich customer data and paved the way for innovative developments in processes and operations across the business. Gianna will talk us through how Enel drew upon its customer data to inform messaging behind the installation campaigns, advantages of installation and how insights from installed smart meters are being put to use by the supplier.


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16.50

Interview

From visualising usage to aligning with billing processes: unlocking the value of smart meter data

  • Achieving seamless integration across systems and platforms
  • Towards real-time information: what data sources could be most useful and how can these be developed into actionable insights?
  • Tactics for using smart meter data to help customers manage their energy consumption

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17.10

Interview

Preparing for retail market-wide half-hourly settlements

  • Preparing for big change: where should transformation efforts be focused in coming years?
  • Coping with the data boom: overcoming challenges of integrating data with existing CMS and billing platforms
  • From time of use tariffs to EV charging: towards a data-led approach to steering consumption
  • What can the domestic market learn from half-hourly settlement success with I&C customers?

Elizabeth Allkins
Elizabeth Allkins

Head of Policy Analytics
OVO Energy

Mark Meyrick
Mark Meyerick

Head of Smart Grids and PPAs
Ecotricity

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17.25

Panel discussion

From the final mile of the rollout to the coming data explosion: assessing the next steps for smart meters

  • Getting meters on the last few walls: what special strategies might be needed for hard-to-reach people and properties?
  • How has the recent energy price crisis impacted the rollout?
  • How could policy or legislation provide the industry extra support to meet the 2025 target?
  • Developing a cohesive comms strategy across the industry: how can existing messages be adapted to drive the next stage of smart meter engagement?
  • Coping with higher volumes of smart meter data: what key challenges will arise from this and what are the possible solutions?
  • Encouraging customer engagement in energy efficiency: putting smart meter data to use to create more accurate bills and develop tariffs
  • Towards grid flexibility: next steps for visualising, controlling and eventually optimising energy usage in the home
  • Data privacy concerns in the smart home future: what might energy companies need to consider?

Future of Utilities: Chris Barlow
Chris Barlow

Innovation Director
DCC

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Red Stage: Interopability, reliability, affordability: priorities for the EV boom

16.30

Keynote

Uniting the energy and automotive industries on the road to electric vehicles: key outcomes from 2035 delivery plan

With all new cars and vans required to be fully zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035, the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles have set out a series of investment and policy initiatives and milestones to help meet this ambitious phase out date. From how to increase supply for increasing demand to how to map out pathways to realise key commitments, Kate will share the key principals of the plan and what the next steps should be for the energy sector.


Future of Utilities - Katie Black
Katie Black

Head of Office for Zero Emission Vehicles
Department for Transport

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16.50

Interview

A seamless experience for customer and supplier: utilising end-to-end charging management platforms

  • Frictionless service and interoperable operations: integrating EV charge points with smart meters and demand-response solutions
  • What further innovation is needed before the benefits of bidirectional charging can be felt by customer, supplier and network?
  • From self-service portals and mobile apps to billing offerings: developing excellent CX on digital platforms

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17.10

Panel discussion

From network development to customer support: meeting the coming surge in demand amongst market disruption

  • The journey to 2030: envisioning the trajectory for EV uptake and whether network digitalisation and capacity efforts are aligned with this pace of change
  • From the petrol shortage to high energy prices: what impact will the energy crisis have on that roadmap?
  • How can collaboration be improved with industry and non-industry players to ensure a thorough transition across the country?
  • Coping with the expansion of home chargers and commercial charging infrastructure: what changes to the system may be needed?
  • How can network operators ensure that there is sufficient grid capacity across different connection points?
  • What tariff innovation may be needed as technology advances, demand increases and perhaps as wholesale energy prices remain higher than usual?
  • What new products or services could be developed to make the transition more affordable and inclusive to all types of customer?
  • What new kind of support could be provided by regulation and policy to support the industry and enable future change to be actioned with greater speed?

Dr Russell Fowler

Senior Project Manager, Decarbonisation of Transport
National Grid

Poppy Mills
Poppy Mills

UK Director
Ubitricity

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18.00

End of day and drinks reception

09.30

Chair's opening remarks

Session 5

Customer engagement and the Net Zero journey

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09.35

Keynote

Inside from the Sixth Carbon Budget: key takeaways for the energy sector

Outlining the year-by-year pathway to achieving Net Zero by 2050, the Sixth Carbon Budget sets out measures based on data-driven future scenarios and the policies required to meet them. From renewable generation and flexible supply to improving energy efficiencies in the built environment and the future of heat, the challenges faced by the energy sector are monumental. Chris will draw on insights from the Budget to recommend key milestones and short-term advances needed for the sector to reach Net Zero.


Chris Stark, CCC | Future of Utilities
Chris Stark

Chief Executive Officer
Committee on Climate Change

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09.55

Interview

Driving value for customers and energy companies in the new energy future

  • Utilising the power of cloud-first capabilities to delight with digital customer experiences
  • How can companies adopt a more agile approach to software and operations to remain competitive in the future ecosystem?
  • How can automation be deployed to deliver more with a lower cost to serve?

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10.15

Keynote

Bringing customers on the Net Zero journey: assessing the challenges for 2022 and beyond

The evolving customer perceptions around the cost of energy and new pressures on energy companies, brought about by the price crisis, have raised some important questions around the next steps of the Net Zero journey, particularly around the way the industry will have to engage customers in Net Zero and ensure the cost of the transition will be fairy distributed. The industry must also grapple with how to evolve in a stable and resilient manner to better manage future intermittency issues. Catherine will be sharing her thoughts on these important questions and what priorities the industry should be focusing on as they take their next steps on this important journey.


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10.35

Keynote

Implications of market disruption and the supply crisis: towards a new vision for industry support

As the industry looks out on 2022 and the journey to 2050, it is an apt time to reflect on key learnings from the 2021 energy price crisis and consider some important questions surrounding current frameworks for regulatory support and what changes may be needed to further support the industry on its journey to Net Zero. How might regulation and market structure need to change to prevent future crises and ensure stability and reliability when the industry increasingly relies on renewable generation? Jonathan will set out Ofgem’s key learnings and vision of support for upcoming industry change.


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10.55

Panel discussion

Informing and supporting customers through the next wave of the green transition

  • Assessing the impact of the energy price crisis on customer behaviours and perceptions: where will changes be felt?
  • How will this impact the way the sector brings about the customer behaviour changes needed to reach Net Zero?
  • Ensuring a fair transition for all: how have recent events influenced the messaging needed around the cost to achieve Net Zero?
  • What might a ‘fair’ cost of achieving Net Zero look like for different customer groups and how can this be integrated into billing, services and product offerings in light of the recent price crisis?
  • What lessons can be learned from the non-domestic market in engaging customers and encouraging behavioural change
  • How can companies ensure fairness and affordability are championed at every stage of the new customer-supplier relationship?
  • From self-regulation to collaboration with non-industry players: what further support might the industry need in order to maintain this level of service offering for customers?

Chris Lovatt

Chief Operating Officer – Energy Infrastructure Services
E.ON UK

Future of Utilities - Lauren Lewis
Lauren Lewis

Director of Business Change and Transformation
OVO Energy

Future of Utilities: Suleman Alli, UK Power Networks
Suleman Alli

Director of Customer Service, Strategy, Regulation and Information Systems
UK Power Networks

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11.35

Refreshment break

Session 6

Championing a thriving innovation culture across the industry

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12.05

Case study

Dance like a butterfly sting like a bee: how to innovate like an energy start-up

Earlier this year, Bulb was officially crowned Europe’s fastest growing startup having topped the FT 1000 list. While growing at speed, Bulb has faced the challenge of developing and delivering new products and features at pace, without compromising on quality of service and the experience of both employees and customers. Our speaker will share what other companies can learn from Bulb’s start-up mentalty, and how Bulb maximises the speed and impact of innovation by drawing more informative insights from trials and embedding insights from across the business.


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12.25

Panel discussion

Collaboration, price signals and regulatory support: efficient pathways for fast-paced change

  • Reflecting on the recent price crisis: how might market conditions need to be developed to boost innovation?
  • What other factors are currently hindering accelerated innovation capabilities?
  • How might behavioural stimuli need to evolve to better facilitate change and create market transformation?
  • What role could industry codes and governance play in encouraging, informing and shaping innovation as part of the green transition?
  • Improving regulatory conditions to enable more flexible innovation at lower cost: what could be done?
  • How could the industry and Ofgem work together to develop a more agile approach to regulation to support the large-scale, fast-paced change needed to reach Net Zero?
  • Innovating on a national scale: creating conditions to ensure the UK maintains it’s position as a global leader in decarbonisation

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13.00

Lunch

Session 7   |  2 × Streams

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STREAM
Blue Stage: Tackling the heat challenge 1
Red Stage: Innovation Hub 2

Blue Stage: Tackling the heat challenge

14.00

Keynote

Assessing the industries next steps for achieving Net Zero

With ambitious targets on the horizon, decarbonising heat will be a monumental challenge for the industry. This battle, set to be fought at both a national and local level, will bring about new pressures for players across the sector. Key challenges include how to work closer with community groups to leverage the opportunity of delivery on a local level, how to ensure sufficient financing is in place for both the industry and end-user and how to get the customer engaged in the journey ahead. Join Martin Freer as he shares some key insights and potential solutions for these challenges from a recent policy commission, held in partnership with the CBI.


Future of Utilities - Professor Martin Freer
Professor Martin Freer

Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute
University of Birmingham

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14.20

Panel discussion

From hydrogen and heat pumps to the built environment: navigating the next decade of change

  • How have recent market trends and policy signals informed industry priorities?
  • Assessing recent and ongoing trials: how are different parts of the industry exploring this future and what early results are they showing?
  • Transforming the gas networks: balancing the need to be hydrogen-ready with the need to avoid stranded assets in the future
  • From increased capacity and connection points to regional variation: what developments are needed on the grid to prepare for the widespread uptake of heat pumps?
  • Overcoming challenges of the built environment: what different strategies are needed to reach different kinds of home?
  • Ensuring affordability for all types of customers: what will this look like and how can suppliers ensure minimal disruption?
  • How important will cross-industry collaboration be to ensure that each customer has the right solution for them?

Paul Frainer
Paul Frainer

Assistant Director Strategy and Economy
Cambridge City Council

Andrew Musgrave
Andrew Musgrave

Head of Network Strategy
SGN

Wouter Thijssen

Group Strategy Manager
National Grid

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Red Stage: Innovation Hub

14.00

Case study

Octopus Centre for Net Zero

In early 2021, Octopus launched a new research facility which will aim to create models and policy recommendations to accelerate the update of green technologies. Led by tech leader, Lucy Yu, the centre is currently focusing on the decarbonisation of transport, heat and buildings. Join Lucy as she gives an insight into it’s stand-out research projects and how their key findings are informing future change for the sector.


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14.15

Case study

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14.30

Case study

Cadent Foundation

The Cadent Foundation has been established to make a positive and lasting difference to local communities and the wider network within Cadent’s network. In it’s latest initiative, the Foundation is setting out a model for maximising the impact of innovation targeted at fuel poverty. Hear the Foundation’s director, Julia Dwyer, share how partnerships, flexibility and an ability to look beyond regulated needs are the key hallmarks of this vision.


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14.45

Case study

Power Networks Demonstration Centre

Established in 2013, the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) is at the forefront of delivering research and facilitating the acceleration of innovation to address future increasing demand in the whole energy systems space. Join Richard as he gives an insight into the Centre’s research on the requirement to de-risk and validate new systems and what technologies may be most critical to facilitating future innovation activity in whole energy systems.


Future of Utilities - Richard Knight
Richard Knight

Director of Strategy and Technology
PNDC at the University of Strathclyde

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15.00

Refreshment break

Session 8

A new era for operations and the workforce

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15.30

Interview

Dismantling internal silos: steps to succeed and reap the benefits for the business and customer

  • How are current operational structures and business processes limiting transformation efforts across within businesses?
  • Information sharing portals, internal talent marketplaces, network hubs: how are digital platforms revolutionising internal communication?
  • What can companies learn from agile working methods and how can these be best applied in different teams?

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15.50

Interview

Empowering workers and optimising workflows: developing a next-gen field force strategy

  • Empowering front-line workers to make data-driven decisions: getting the right information to the right people
  • From allocating workers to jobs to more accurate data gathering: tapping into the power of mobile apps and digital platforms
  • How can companies leverage these advances for greater efficiencies across the business?

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16.10

Panel discussion

From post-pandemic working trends to green skills and jobs: leveraging an evolving workforce on the road to Net Zero

  • A post-pandemic and digitalised workforce: what long-term working trends are emerging in energy?
  • Factoring in other national or international trends for the future of work: what impact will these have on the energy workforce?
  • How can automation be successfully deployed to bring maximum benefit to the employees, teams and organisations?
  • How can the sector keep pace with the need for green jobs and skills and leverage their development of this as part of the transition?
  • Leveraging recruitment and reskilling existing staff to unlock new opportunities across the business: how can this be done well?
  • Towards a more diverse future for the industry: what initiatives can help and what advantages could this bring the sector?
  • Operational optimisation and becoming a greener business: how can developments to the workforce come together to create a more resilient and agile business?

Future of Utilities - Fran Woodward
Fran Woodward

Director of People and Operations
Good Energy

Future of Utilities - Rachael Parr
Rachael Parr

Human Resources Director
Electricity North West

Amanda Drugnick
Amanda Drugnick

People Director
So Energy

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16.40

End of conference

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