Challenge programme

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CHALLENGE PROGRAMME

Forget blue skies. This is frontline, actionable insight that will change your business for the better.

What’s keeping you awake at night? Utility Week Live’s unique programme takes the biggest challenges facing utilities today and asks – how could innovation transform your business’s response? Where have your peers struggled or succeeded, and what can you learn from them? 

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09:45
  1. Stage 1
    60 mins
    • Green transport

    Sponsored byDriivz
     

    A ban on sales for new petrol and diesel vehicles after 2030 has brought the challenges associated with decarbonisation of transport for utilities into sharp relief. Electrification will see power demand skyrocket, putting strain on networks but also offering opportunities for the creative use of electric vehicles as tools for energy flexibility. 

10:00
  1. Stage 3
    90 mins
    • Assets

    Sponsored by Amazon Web Services

    Utilities need to transform legacy approaches to asset planning and management to meet the challenges posed by decarbonisation, water scarcity, and regulatory operational efficiency expectations in a timely and cost-effective way. To do this, they will need to make great leaps in the way asset information is leveraged. Join this session to hear: 

10:15
  1. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Wastewater treatment
    Innovation is urgently needed in wastewater management and treatment to meet regulatory expectations, reduce environmental impact and exploit the circular economy opportunities associated with treatment by-products.  Join this session for frontline insight into key projects and technology advances aimed at:  
11:00
  1. Stage 1
    60 mins
    • Heat

    Sponsored by Guidehouse

    Decarbonisation of heating for buildings is now solidly acknowledged as a make-or-break issue in the UK’s ambitious mission to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy and Hydrogen Strategy have put in place a founding framework for how the challenge will be tackled, with roles for both electric and hydrogen-based technologies. Now it’s time for action.  

11:45
  1. Stage 3
    90 mins
    • Assets

    Sponsored by: Particle

    To operate efficient, net zero infrastructure in the future utilities need to conquer growing complexity and optimise assets in a “whole system” context. They also need to facilitate innovation in their industry ecosystems so that third parties can bring forward exciting new products and services to help customers reduce their energy and water usage and play a more active demand-side role.  

12:15
  1. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Wastewater treatment
    The water industry's focus on phosphorus removal is ramping up in line with stretching new targets in AMP7 and increasing sensitivity around the adverse impacts of phosphorus on the natural environment. 
  2. 65 mins
    • Assets
    Energy and water utilities are stepping into a new era of unprecedented need for capital investment as the rising demands of a climate stressed future prompt huge upticks in the scale and required pace of complex project delivery – all while containing costs. As companies move to replace and extend infrastructure to ensure it is future fit, capital delivery teams will need to be suitably equipped with the resources, skills and technologies to meet all of these challenges with confidence. 
13:30
  1. Stage 3
    60 mins
    • Energy flexibility and smart networks

    Sponsored by Smart Energy Water

    It’s coming: the way the UK public interacts with their energy provider is set to change, drastically and permanently. The rollout of EVs and new smart home technologies, such as domestic energy storage and low carbon heating solutions, will turn many more customers into ‘prosumers’. 

13:45
  1. Stage 1
    90 mins
    • Assets
    To deliver essential operational efficiency gains and mitigate the growing risk of asset failure in an aging infrastructure base, utilities must fully embrace proactive and predictive approaches to asset management. This means using new and existing asset information better, to enhance understanding of asset health and how this can be impacted by a variety of factors – from changes in its environment to altered performance expectations. 
14:00
  1. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Customer service

    Sponsored by Callminer

    Responsibility for delivering essential services means utilities must protect the most vulnerable in our society, ensuring they are not deprived of heat, power, or water, nor disadvantaged by any inability to engage in rapidly changing utilities markets. Upholding this responsibility will only become more challenging as the long tail of the pandemic continues to reveal its impacts on the financial, physical, and mental health of many consumers and the drive for net zero fires debate about how to achieve a “just” transition. 

14:45
  1. Stage 3
    60 mins
    • Energy flexibility and smart networks

    Sponsored by Belcan

    Deep decarbonisation and decentralisation continue to focus on mounting dependency and pressure on energy network operators. An accelerated shift to low carbon heating and transport options in this decade will intensify this trend, meaning networks must likewise ramp up their ability to cleverly manage network constraints.  

15:45
  1. Stage 1
    75 mins
    • Customer service

    Sponsored byCapita

    Utilities are feeling the heat of competitive, regulatory and social pressures to transform customer service. They need to deliver more personalisation, more choice and more transparency for customers. They need to do it at scale and with a ruthless commitment to driving down cost to serve, even as issues like climate change are adding complexity to the services and product sets they have on offer.

  2. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Energy flexibility and smart networks

    Sponsored by ENA

    The long-talked-about transition of distribution network operators into a world of distribution system operations is now well underway, albeit in a shifting policy landscape where the boundaries of responsibility and competition for DSO services are still to be clearly defined. Likewise, innovation schemes and technology development have transformed the idea of local flexibility services from theory to reality, with DNOs now actively tendering for flexibility from local distributed energy resources. 

16:00
  1. Stage 3
    60 mins
    • Wastewater treatment
    How can we get away from pouring concrete and move towards more sustainable approaches to maintaining resilient infrastructure? This session will explore the latest thinking about how to drive down capital carbon and investment emissions and ensure biodiversity net gain in line with asset renewal and replacement programmes. We’ll also delve into emerging evidence on the costs and benefits of natural capital and nature-based solutions versus conventional infrastructure approaches.
09:45
  1. Stage 1
    90 mins
    • Field operations

    Sponsored by Sightcall

    Regulators are driving down hard on operational costs across the energy and waters while also raising the bar on service delivery. To outperform, utilities need to get smarter about the way field operatives are deployed and how they are equipped to support improved customer outcomes. This session will highlight how companies are transforming operating models and deploying technology and training to make sure field operations are optimised for the future. 

10:00
  1. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Smart water networks
    Water companies have been tasked by Ofwat with achieving a 50% reduction in leakage by 2050. With the looming challenges of population growth and water scarcity to contend with, it’s essential this goal is met or exceeded if water supplies in the UK are to remain resilient and reliable. 
  2. Stage 3
    75 mins
    • Energy flexibility and smart networks

    As the UK steps up its efforts to meet zero carbon emissions, the gas network has a pivotal role to play. This session will look at how gas networks are innovating to find a whole-system solution to the UK’s low carbon future.  

11:30
  1. Stage 3
    60 mins
    • Field operations

    Sponsored by Software AG

    The pandemic has forced employers across all sectors, utilities included, to think again about the conditions needed to ensure productivity and how to sustain engaged and happy workforces. This session will explore: 

11:45
  1. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Assets

    Sponsored by 
    Jobling Purser

    Ambitious innovation in mend and repair approaches for energy and water infrastructure is needed if the sector wants to meet tough regulatory targets around leakage and losses as well as supply interruptions and efficiency gains with confidence. In this session we will explore: 

  2. Stage 1
    75 mins
    • Delivering net zero
    The water sector’s landmark commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 has released a wave of focussed and determined activity across the sector as companies seek to leverage new technologies and processes to move them closer to their goal.  Join this session to hear: 
12:45
  1. Stage 3
    60 mins
    • Delivering net zero

    The UK’s ambitions for carbon neutrality by 2050 will require a monumental behavioural and lifestyle shift on a society wide level. Over the coming decades customers will have to switch to low carbon transport and heating as well as changing their relationship with energy (and water) – customers will be on a steep learning curve and will adopt at different rates.

13:45
  1. Stage 1
    75 mins
    • Smart water networks

    Sponsored by Innovyze

    To meet and conquer the challenges facing the water sector – from climate change, biodiversity loss and water scarcity through population growth and regulatory performance expectations – companies know they need to create smarter infrastructure. They know they need new capability to manage capacity, constraints and risks at a whole network – or even multinetwork level. But what does this mean in practice?  

  2. Stage 2
    75 mins
    • Water quality
    This session will explore the latest thinking in tackling chemicals and emerging contaminants through advanced monitoring and technology applications. We’ll also showcase how new catchment management and natural capital approaches, delivered via innovative partnership models can support sustainable drinking water quality in the UK.   Join this session to hear: 
14:00
  1. Stage 3
    75 mins
    • Smart meters
    The rollout of smart meters to energy and water consumers is creating a foundation of data for service innovation and promotion of more sustainable consumption habits. The industry still needs to contend with significant gaps in smart meter coverage as well as patchy consumer buy-in to data sharing, but as these issues are tackled, what are companies doing to ensure the full potential of smart meter insights are leveraged?  Join this session to explore: 

Register now to hear the latest programme developments and speaker announcements:

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