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Utility Week Live

COLLABORATE EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

Our Collaborate Exchange smaller peer-to-peer discussion sessions will allow our audience to have a conversation around a particular theme. These small group (20 participants), peer-to-peer meetings will offer an additional opportunity to share views on key challenges facing the sector.   

For each session, we will set out 3-4 questions to allow the audience to:

  • Consider prepared questions for each session
  • Bring the participants' own experiences, learnings and expertise to share with the group
  • Work together to build answers to the questions with the group
  • Add thoughts, feedback, and solutions to the whiteboard/flipchart/noticeboard

Each session will be lightly moderated – and participants should come prepared to share their experiences with their industry peers to work through the key themes in the sessions. 

*Sessions are application only and subject to session capacity. Sessions will be held in-person, in the Collaboration Space.

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  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage
    Faciliator
  2. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    The water environment is facing ever-growing pressures around too much, too little and too dirty water, deepened by climate change and biodiversity crises, population growth and ageing assets. Nature-based solutions (in the context of catchment initiatives, hybrid green-grey infrastructure and natural solutions), can play a critical role in addressing these multiple challenges, and providing a more resilient and sustainable alternative. However, NBS are not common practice across the sector, are still seen as high risk, the uptake is very slow, and therefore, we are failing to maximise their full value. 

    Join this collaboration exchange session to explore:  

    • What is stopping the scale of adoption of NBS in the water sector? And how can the barriers be removed? 

    • Looking at the challenges in AMP8, what do we think are the key challenges and opportunities for NBS in the next AMP specifically?  

    • What can the industry collectively do with regulators and other stakeholders to enable the value of NBS to be maximised in the long-term?  What are the key levers that can drive action? 

    • What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate change?  


    Faciliator
    Amina Aboobakar, director of strategy and stewardship, The Rivers Trust, seconded from UU
  3. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    Innovation plays a key role in the transformation of our energy networks and in meeting the evolving needs of consumers. Understanding and building on past innovations can help generate momentum, allowing innovations to reach a breakthrough. The Playbook identifies and explores patterns of successful innovation. It is not a step-by-step guide to running an innovation project, but a ‘book of previous plays’ that will help navigate some of the complexities of network innovation. By harnessing these invaluable insights, the Playbook offers a powerful resource to guide innovators, energy networks and their partners, to innovation success.  

      

    Join this interactive workshop to be one of the first to benefit from the findings of the Playbook, use the insights gathered to refine innovative ideas, craft project applications, and embark on a journey of network innovation success. 

     

    Attend this session to learn: 

    • What are the key and repeatable factors to achieve innovation project success?  

    • What is the role of innovators vs. utilities to improve successful commercialisation?  

    • How to take a project vs. portfolio view to achieve commercial success in network innovation?  

    • What types of support would help innovators secure/deliver an innovation project, and contribute to an increased likelihood of it being adopted in the system? 



    Faciliators
    Manu Ravishankar, innovation lead, Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovate UK

    Tom Poole, Commercial Analyst, Innovate UK - SIF Programme
  4. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    Utility network and retail companies need to regain trust from consumers to gain legitimacy as they lead the charge on net zero, environmental improvements and decarbonisation. To deliver the new infrastructure required at pace and influence consumer behaviour, the industry must minimise public back lash and win the hearts and minds of citizens. 
    Join this interactive session to uncover: 

    • How to change peoples’ perceptions
    • How to ‘lean’ into challenges
    • How to build points of connections with customers and citizens


    Faciliator
    Dan Roberts, partner, Brunswick Group
  5. Collaborate Exchange Stage

     

    As governments worldwide strive to achieve ambitious net zero targets, water companies are faced with the critical task of addressing emissions associated with bioresource treatment and renewable energy production. Central to this effort is the imperative to control and minimize methane emissions, unlocking the potential for clean and sustainable energy generation from waste sources. 

    Join this session to discuss:  

    • How can we accurately assess and quantify the methane contribution of renewable energy derived from bioresource treatment? 

    • Where do the most significant methane emissions occur, and what proactive steps can be taken to reduce their impact on the environment? 

    • How can the industry adapt and innovate to reduce methane emissions and drive sustainable practices forward? 



    Faciliator
    Dr. Yadira Bajón Fernández, Senior Lecturer in Bioresources Science and Engineering (Cranfield) and Policy Fellow (DESNZ), Cranfield University; and policy fellow, DESNZ
  6. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    All utilities operate as part of a complex, interconnected system of systems, where a change or problem in one part of the system can create a ripple effect elsewhere in the system.   

    In the past, challenges have been satisfactorily met by operating fairly independently within our sector silos but in an increasingly complex, uncertain, volatile and ambiguous world, deeper inter-connections and further cross system (cross sector) working are required if we are to co-ordinate action to keep evolving the system of systems to face these challenges.   

    Open data and data sharing is a critical and foundational component to cross sector collaboration and yet it is still only in its infancy, with a small (but notable) handful of examples tackling some of the thorniest of challenges, but still often only operating at proof of concept or proof of value scale.  

    This collaboration exchange session seeks to create a forum for deeper discussion on the topic of how we can accelerate cross sector working through open and shared data. 

    The following questions will be tackled: 

    • What are the issues we particularly need collaboration for? 

    • What do we want the future of cross-sector working to look like?  What is our story from the future? 

    • What are the existing enablers and barriers to cross sector working and how can we remove the blockers? 

    • What collective action and commitment is required?  What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate faster towards our vision? 



    Faciliators
    Melissa Tallack, open data lead, Northumbrian Water

    Josh D’Addario, Open Data Institute
  7. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    DSOs must prioritise collaboration with local authorities to achieve the UK’s net zero goal. It is critical to engage with all stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of decarbonisation plans to better inform strategic development of the grid. In return how can networks improve the transparency of the grid and aid local area energy planning? 

    Join this interactive workshop to gain a deeper understanding of the LENZA tool and work through scenarios in groups to gain hands-on experience you can implement in your organisation. This workshop will uncover: 

    • How LENZA can help with Local Area Energy Plans 

    • How to successfully collaborate to drive efficiency and aid decarbonisation 



    Faciliators
    Rosie Robertson, SSEN Distribution

    Rhys Williams, innovation project manager, SSEN Distribution
  8. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    How can we improve asset owner and supply chain collaboration?

    In an era of unprecedented infrastructure delivery, early engagement in the design process with innovators, construction companies and suppliers is essential for driving down cost, improving project delivery efficiency and ensuring minimal impact to the environment. How can utilities adapt the current way of working to encourage the adoption of innovative ways of working and technologies? 

    Join this interactive session to workshop best practise and ways of working to improve and drive efficiency in client and supply chain relationships.

    • How can utilities champion collaboration with the supply chain and provide longer term commitment? 

    • How can we adapt procurement processes to enable innovation? 

    • What does the best case scenario look like regarding contracting and risk management? 

    •  How can utilities and their supply chain award and champion social value in projects?  



    Faciliator
    Jon Loveday, director of infrastructure, enterprise and growth, Infrastructure and Projects Authority

 

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09:55
  1. Sustainable Infrastructure Stage

    Sponsored by:

    With a dedicated focus on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and hitting net zero by 2030, water companies need to tackle the process emissions released in sewage treatment. Water companies are measuring emissions and trialling innovative solutions to minimise the release of nitrous oxide, biomethane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Join this session to unearth the latest innovations in monitoring and reducing process emissions and resource recovery to drive a circular economy.



    Chair introduction
    Ruth Williams, water correspondent, Utility Week

    Biorefineries and circular systems: A resourceful route towards a sustainable and resilient future or a wasted opportunity?
    Matthew Stewart, Associate Director - Bioresources, AtkinsRéalis

    Measuring and monitoring process emissions
    Bharani Srinamasivayam, process emissions manager/chief engineer - asset strategy & planning, Severn Trent

    Measuring process emissions and planning reductions
    Gordon Reid, general manager zero emissions, Scottish Water

    Recovering Ammonia from our Wastewater Treatment Processes
    Tim Rutter, head of engineering, Northumbrian Water

    Adopting cellulose recovery to minimise process emissions
    Peter Vale, carbon architect, asset intelligence & innovation, Severn Trent
10:00
  1. Customer, Culture and Workforce Stage

    Consumers will play a pivotal role in the UK’s shift to renewable energy, adopting low carbon technology in their homes and taking an active role in shifting their demand. Retailers and networks need to educate, communicate and incentivise customers to embrace LCT in their homes. At a time of macro economic change and wavering political commitments, the industry must lead the charge on rolling out LCT at scale to deliver a decarbonised society. Join this session to find out how.



    Chair introduction
    Adam John, Utility Week

    Changing the narrative – how to demystify low carbon solutions
    Chris Connolly, business development manager, E.ON

    Creating an experience: ensuring Net Zero living isn't as scary as it sounds
    Hannah Thompson, customer relations and communications specialist, Sero Life

    Ensuring a just transition and supporting the roll out of LCT to vulnerable customers
    Archie Lasseter, head of sustainability, Utilita
  2. Smart Utilities Stage

    Sponsored by:

    Digital twins improve network transparency, support innovation and enable utilities to make rapid and informed investment decisions. A diverse range of utilities are embracing digital twins as they seek to create operational efficiencies without compromising service. Join this session to demystify digital twins, see how utilities are embracing the technology and understand what it could mean for your organisation.



    Chair introduction
    Ben Hargreaves, head of content, Utility Week

    Digital twins: societal benefits, value and impact
    Justin Anderson, director, digital twin hub, Connected Places Catapult

    Embracing digitalisation to protect the environment – ecological digital twin
    Carly Leonard, Anglian Water

    The Virtual Energy system
    Simon Evans, Virtual Energy System programme director, ESO

    Leveraging location to mature your digital twin
    Matt Piper, global director for industry solutions, ESRI
  3. Energy Flexibility Stage

    The role of retailers is evolving as market needs evolve. To understand the customers, they serve and offer a detailed level of flexibility, retailers are offering energy solutions to control more devices and understand existing devices in the home. Smart devices, home management systems and technology are essential to unlocking real time and quick energy flexibility. Uncover how you can leverage gride edge technology and low carbon solutions to enable the transition to for networks and customers.



    Chair introduction
    Lucinda Dann, features editor, Utility Week

    Adapting business models to align with the energy transition
    José Davila, director of strategy and external affairs, E.ON

    Evolving business models to assist customers with the transition to net-zero
    Ritika Wattan, head of strategy – energy customer solutions, SSE

    From tariffs to products: creating the next generation of customer offers
    Kieron Stopforth, senior manager, Octopus Energy Group
  4. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    The UK could have some of the cheapest electricity in Europe, if not the cheapest. Instead, it spends hundreds of millions per year curtailing abundant, green wind energy in favour of dirty fossil fuel back-ups.  

    As we rapidly electrify our world – transforming how we both generate and consume our energy – we also need to reimagine the energy markets that deliver it.  

    Locational pricing could deliver well over £50 billion in savings to the UK by 2040, while unlocking vast amounts of green generation and cost savings to consumers.  

    In order to unleash the full potential of abundant renewables, we need a paradigm shift in our energy system. Join Greg Jackson as he explores the role of locational pricing in making our grid work smarter, not harder. 



    Chair introduction
    James Wallin, editor, Utility Week

    Panel
    Greg Jackson, founder and chief executive, Octopus Energy
  5. Innovation Stage

    With demand on the gas system being distributed across all parts of the network, this session is going to hear from the different sectors that are connected to the gas grid. You’ll hear about the actions their businesses are working on today, and what options they are looking to secure in the future to achieve net zero. 



    Chair introduction
    Oliver Lancaster, chief executive, IGEM

    Industrial and commercial
    Marian Garfield, Heidelberg Materials/Hanson

    Transport
    Allan Rushforth, chief commercial officer, First Hydrogen

    Power
    Neil Filkin, technical director, Conrad Energy

    Domestic
    john Hay, manager, believe housing
10:10
  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    Utility network and retail companies need to regain trust from consumers to gain legitimacy as they lead the charge on net zero, environmental improvements and decarbonisation. To deliver the new infrastructure required at pace and influence consumer behaviour, the industry must minimise public back lash and win the hearts and minds of citizens. 
    Join this interactive session to uncover: 

    • How to change peoples’ perceptions
    • How to ‘lean’ into challenges
    • How to build points of connections with customers and citizens


    Faciliator
    Dan Roberts, partner, Brunswick Group
10:45
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    Sponsored by:

    SSEN DSO
    The UK's ambitious carbon reduction targets have been set at the highest level of government - but in a year of political change, that leadership has necessarily been put on hold. Yet the utilities industry remains firmly committed to achieving net zero, and knows there isn't a moment to waste. Unearth how industry can step into the gap, leading the charge on net zero, setting the pace, delivering innovation and holding themselves to account - even while delivering infrastructure on an unprecedented scale and battling cost pressures and reputational challenges. 

    Join this session to be inspired and learn how you and your organisation can lead the change. 



    Chair introduction
    James Wallin, editor, Utility Week

    Panel
    Jon Butterworth, chief executive, National Gas

    Vicky Kelsall, chief executive, SP Energy Networks

    Chris Burchell, managing director, SSEN Distribution

    Zoe Frogbrook, head of environment and sustainability, Northumbrian Water Group
11:15
  1. Innovation Stage

    Join us for a thought-provoking session chaired by Carly Perry, the Managing Director of Spring, as we delve into the future plans for the sector's centre of excellence. Together, we'll reflect on the progress we've made so far and explore Spring's plan for adding even more value to the sector in the years to come.



    Chair introduction
    Carly Perry, managing director, Spring

    Panellists
    Lauren Tyler, head of innovation, Southern Water

    Paul Gaskin, research and innovation manager, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

    Dr Azar Laghaei, head of research, WRc Group

    Victoria Nevin, Skewb
11:20
  1. Sustainable Infrastructure Stage

    What role will hydrogen play in a net zero future? While its use in domestic heating remains a matter for government policy, it is increasingly expected to have a role in fuelling heavy industry and transport. Join this session to discover the latest trials to roll out hydrogen for heavy industry and transport and future scaling opportunities.



    Chair introduction
    Oliver Lancaster, chief executive, IGEM

    The UK’s strategy for hydrogen in industry and transport
    Tom Mowle, head of hydrogen demand, DESNZ

    Resourcing heavy industry and transport with hydrogen
    Dr Danielle Stewart, project director, project union, National Gas

    Infrastructure requirements to support the development of a hydrogen economy
    Alastair Scott, future of energy project manager, SGN
  2. Smart Utilities Stage

    Sponsored by:

    Open data is at the top of the agenda for energy and water companies. Not only has it been mandated by regulators; the industry recognises that it’s key to speeding up innovation and delivering net zero. How can water, gas and electricity companies improve the interoperability of information and drive cross-sector collaboration to make open data in utilities a reality? Join this session for an update on key open data projects and hear directly from the industry’s open data pioneers.



    Chair introduction
    Emily Judson, head of research, Icebreaker One

    STREAM project update
    Melissa Tallack, open data lead, Northumbrian Water

    Building the energy sector data sharing infrastructure
    Simon Evans, global digital energy leader, Arup

    Developing the ability to share information across sectorial boundaries
    Alexandra Luck, head of programme, national digital twin programme, Department for Business and Trade

    Talk title to be announced
    Niemesh Amin, programme director, Trilliant
  3. Energy Flexibility Stage

    Large users of energy offer a huge opportunity for power networks to harness for flexible energy. Ensuring operations of businesses are impacted at a minimum, what new opportunities does energy flexibility provide? Three users of energy will outline how they are looking to optimise operations and embrace energy flexibility.



    Chair introduction
    Tom Grimwood, insights editor, Utility Week

    Putting end users at the heart of gas and electricity flexibility policy
    Arjan Geveke, director, EIUG

    Removing barriers and incentivising I&C customers
    Jake Miller, electric assets lead, Drax

    Understanding and overcoming the struggled of I&C engagement
    Natasha Mills, policy officer, ADE
  4. Customer, Culture and Workforce Stage

    Sponsored by:

    In the last 18 months utilities have borne the brunt of public, media and government ire over soaring bills, river quality, executive pay and shareholder rewards. The industry urgently needs to rebuild customer trust and repair its reputation if it’s to influence consumer behaviour, attract talent to the industry and ultimately deliver the level of infrastructure projects required. Join this session to learn from pioneering projects that are rebuilding trust and discover best practice in stakeholder engagement.



    Chair introduction
    Adam John, Utility Week

    The Great Grid Upgrade – working with communities
    Alexandra Kaufman, director of land, planning and external affairs, strategic infrastructure, National Grid Electricity Transmission

    Resetting the relationship with customers
    Ashley Marshman, Head of Customer Service, Southern Water

    Uniting forces with environmental groups to improve river quality
    Erica Popplewell, head of campaigns, River Action

    Embracing technology to improve customer convenience and trust
    Kapil Singhal, co-founder and CEO, Vyntelligence
11:45
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    At a time when UK utilities need to embrace innovation and deliver capital projects on an unprecedented scale, regulators discuss how they can collaborate to drive whole systems thinking across National Critical Infrastructure and remove regulatory barriers. Do we need to reimagine the existing regulatory regime?  

    Join this session to unearth how regulators can remove blockers for networks, water companies, retailers and developers. 

     

    Questions to discuss: 

    • How can regulators facilitate collaborative working and innovation adoption?  

    • What can regulators do to help transform procurement? 

    • How can regulators support industry through AMP8, RIIO 2/3 and ED 2 



    Chair introduction
    Jane Gray, content director, Utility Week

    Panel
    Akshay Kaul, director general, Ofgem

    Gillian Pratt, deputy director, Environment Agency
12:00
  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage

     

    As governments worldwide strive to achieve ambitious net zero targets, water companies are faced with the critical task of addressing emissions associated with bioresource treatment and renewable energy production. Central to this effort is the imperative to control and minimize methane emissions, unlocking the potential for clean and sustainable energy generation from waste sources. 

    Join this session to discuss:  

    • How can we accurately assess and quantify the methane contribution of renewable energy derived from bioresource treatment? 

    • Where do the most significant methane emissions occur, and what proactive steps can be taken to reduce their impact on the environment? 

    • How can the industry adapt and innovate to reduce methane emissions and drive sustainable practices forward? 



    Faciliator
    Dr. Yadira Bajón Fernández, Senior Lecturer in Bioresources Science and Engineering (Cranfield) and Policy Fellow (DESNZ), Cranfield University; and policy fellow, DESNZ
12:30
  1. Innovation Stage

    With insights from a panel of experts from the Heat Pump Ready programme, this session will delve into how innovations in smart and flexible technology, manufacturing and the customer journey can enable the mass rollout of heat pumps. Dr Nicola Lazenby, Energy Innovation Programme Manager for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, will chair the panel session

      



    Chair introduction
    Nicola Lazenby, The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero

    Panel
    Mark Lufkin, CPO technical director, Wondrwall

    Daniel White, market development director, MCS

    Roger Macklin, Technical Director, Hoare Lea

    Tom Oldfield, Head of External Affairs, Mixergy
12:40
  1. Smart Utilities Stage

    Sponsored by:
    Power & utilities sector | Insights, trends & services
    As distribution network operators shift to becoming DSOs, effective accurate digital infrastructure and adopting smart energy networks is essential to enabling energy flexibility, directing investment and prioritising asset management decisions on the road to net zero. How will digital networks integrate and interact with the FSO and enable the uptake of LCT for consumers? Discover the innovations, technologies and efficiencies arising from embracing smart energy networks.



    Chair introduction
    Tom Grimwood, insights editor, Utility Week

    The importance of data
    Kirsty Scott, head of network intelligence & DSO development, Scottish Power Energy Networks

    Monitoring the network and forecasting for asset management
    Nigel Bessant, head of network operations, SSEN Distribution

    DSO innovations enabling net zero
    Jamie Bright, DSO data science & development manager, UKPN

    Scaling flexibility services with automated and performance based operational technology systems
    Ali Ahmadi, global digital grid director, EY
  2. Customer, Culture and Workforce Stage

    Sponsored by:

    Utilities are racing to achieve digital readiness, while facing an ever-growing skills crisis and demands from the regulator to deliver more for less. How can energy and water businesses embrace operational change, drive process efficiency and ensure digital readiness? Join this session to explore the innovations available to utilities as they seek to modernise their workforce and operations.



    Chair introduction
    Ben Hargreaves, head of content, Utility Week

    Data science skills gap – how to build data capabilities
    Dr Stephen Haben, senior data science consultant, Energy Systems Catapult

    Upskilling to establish a digitally-enabled workforce
    Liz Nash, learning & development manager, UKPN

    Mitigating the skills gap through operational change – Anglian’s approach to the Strategic Pipeline Delivery
    Matt Walker, strategic programmes manager, Anglian Water

    Closing the skills gap with AI: a true story
    Scott Broadley, director of strategic projects, FYLD
  3. Sustainable Infrastructure Stage

    As the climate crisis deepens and biodiversity becomes a priority, finding alternatives to grey infrastructure is critical. How can industry, regulators and innovators work together to enable the adoption of nature-based solutions? Join this session to unearth how utilities are looking at the whole catchment and engaging in new partnerships to introduce more nature-based solutions.



    Chair introduction
    Ruth Williams, water correspondent, Utility Week

    How can we better prepare to design, build and operate nature based solutions
    Dr Gabriela Dotro, senior research fellow and expert on wetlands and NbS, Cranfield University

    Nature based solutions – environmental regulation, policies and frameworks to support delivery
    Clare Warburton, sustainable development deputy director, Natural England

    Kat Broadhead, principal for water, Natural England

    Mainstreaming nature based solutions to deliver greater value
    Amina Aboobakar, director of strategy and stewardship, The Rivers Trust, seconded from UU
  4. Energy Flexibility Stage

    Flexible energy markets are at a critical junction of development. Following consultations around the role of the regulator, this panel will deliberate the best way to support emerging markets, protect customers and accelerate net zero.



    Chair introduction
    Lucinda Dann, features editor, Utility Week

    Panel
    Avi Aithal, head of open networks, Energy Networks Association

    Ben Shafran, head of markets, policy & regulation, Energy Systems Catapult

    Nina Klein, flexibility policy expert, Ofgem

    Lois Clark, ESO
12:45
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    The utilities industry has been under the microscope for environmental impact and increased cost to consumers. How can utilities transform public perceptions and win back trust?  

    Join this session to discover how utilities can rebuild their reputation and tell the story of all the hard work that goes into keeping the lights on, the heat pumping and the taps running. 

     



    Chair introduction
    Jane Gray, content director, Utility Week

    Panel
    Dan Roberts, partner, Brunswick Group
13:30
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    It’s a simple fact that accessing low carbon technologies is easier for consumers on a higher income – but to ensure a successful transition to a net zero economy, everyone must be engaged, and everyone must benefit, at all levels of society. Rebuilding consumer trust, educating consumers on pollution, and encouraging customers to embrace sustainable, low carbon technologies to assist in the energy transition is essential.  

    Join this session to debate what we mean by a ‘just transition’, and discover how it can be achieved.  

     



    Chair introduction
    Jane Gray, content director, Utility Week

    Panel
    Dr Brenda Boardman MBE, Emeritus fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

    Mike Gauterin, customer and technology director, United Utilities

    Imran Patel, director of customer experience, Yorkshire Water

    Monica Collings, chair, Swarm Energy
  2. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    All utilities operate as part of a complex, interconnected system of systems, where a change or problem in one part of the system can create a ripple effect elsewhere in the system.   

    In the past, challenges have been satisfactorily met by operating fairly independently within our sector silos but in an increasingly complex, uncertain, volatile and ambiguous world, deeper inter-connections and further cross system (cross sector) working are required if we are to co-ordinate action to keep evolving the system of systems to face these challenges.   

    Open data and data sharing is a critical and foundational component to cross sector collaboration and yet it is still only in its infancy, with a small (but notable) handful of examples tackling some of the thorniest of challenges, but still often only operating at proof of concept or proof of value scale.  

    This collaboration exchange session seeks to create a forum for deeper discussion on the topic of how we can accelerate cross sector working through open and shared data. 

    The following questions will be tackled: 

    • What are the issues we particularly need collaboration for? 

    • What do we want the future of cross-sector working to look like?  What is our story from the future? 

    • What are the existing enablers and barriers to cross sector working and how can we remove the blockers? 

    • What collective action and commitment is required?  What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate faster towards our vision? 



    Faciliators
    Melissa Tallack, open data lead, Northumbrian Water

    Josh D’Addario, Open Data Institute
13:45
  1. Innovation Stage

    The Ofwat innovation fund has encouraged a step change in the innovation maturity of the sector - particularly in the focus and structure to the creation and delivery of projects. In thinking about the fund beyond 2025, how do we encourage the sector to take the next step in its maturity?  

    Join this interactive collaborate exchange to help shape and develop innovation maturity and discuss:  
     

    · How to adopt and scale solution being developed  

    · How to encourage a culture of failing quickly and being comfortable with it  

    · How to accelerate the return on investment  

    · How to improve the delivery of projects  

    · How to demonstrate value for money for customers  



    Chair introduction
    Holly Jamieson, executive director, Challenge Works

    Panel
    John Rumble, senior asset manager (environmental policy & strategy), Affinity Water

    Helen Campbell, senior director for sector performance, Ofwat

    Tania Flasck, Ofwat innovation fund judge

    Suhayl Zulfiquar, CEO, Ofwat innovation fund judge
14:00
  1. Smart Utilities Stage

    Sponsored by:

    In the face of the changing climate and regulatory demands for greater long-term efficiencies, utilities need to take a proactive approach to asset management rather than continue to respond reactively to bursts, leakages and failing assets. How can smart technology enable engineers to predict failures, maintain assets and ensure continued operations for consumers? Join this session to discover how water, gas and power companies are transforming asset management, saving time and money and maintaining an undisrupted service to consumers.



    Chair introduction
    Ben Hargreaves, head of content, Utility Week

    Taking a data led approach to leakage and asset management
    Justine Leadbetter, head of demand management, Water Research Centre

    Adapting whilst maintaining supply: A climate driven approach to asset management
    Shirley Robertson, head of strategic planning & sustainability, SSEN Distribution

    From reactive to proactive: how data and technology is transforming management of the gas network
    David Moon, director of investment & future energy, Cadent

    How can IoT and open standard telecoms like LoRaWAN enable smarter utilities
    Harsha Anand, global head of advisory, Enzen Group
  2. Sustainable Infrastructure Stage

    Sponsored by:

    Extreme weather is putting an increasing strain on aging critical national infrastructure and utilities must adapt their networks to withstand more frequent storms, extreme heat and increased flooding. Utilities need to prepare existing water, gas, electricity and telecoms networks to ensure resilience and security of supply to customers as a priority. Simultaneously, future assets need to be designed to realistic climate models and predictions.



    Chair introduction
    Rob Horgan, Utility Week

    Preparing critical national infrastructure for the future
    Clara Wikforss, policy adviser, National Infrastructure Commission

    CREDO: using digital twins to manage extreme heat
    Tom Burgoyne, asset systems strategist, Anglian Water

    Ensuring reliability through SSEN’s resilience portal and storm AI
    Troy Fisher, customer service & experience design lead, SSEN

    Using rainfall data and forecasts to predict and prevent sewer flooding
    Mike Everest, MAP director, Metasphere Ltd
  3. Customer, Culture and Workforce Stage

    Heat remains the biggest single source of carbon emissions for the UK, making its decarbonisation critical to the net zero journey. The government has set out ambitious plans for the rollout of heat pumps, but the reality is that just a fraction of the targeted number are being installed each year. What is the future of low carbon heat, and when will the tipping point for mass take-up arrive? Join this session to learn how to engage consumers, improve consumer understanding and accelerate the decarbonisation of heat.



    Chair introduction
    Tom Grimwood, insights editor, Utility Week

    Facilitating the electrification of heat
    Clothilde Cantegreil, SSEN Distribution

    Innovating to decarbonise vertical communities
    Loukas Douvaras, innovation project lead, UK Power Networks

    Unlocking flexibility from residential low carbon heat
    Lisa Bunting, British Gas
  4. Energy Flexibility Stage

    To accelerate the development of flexible energy markets and encourage the participation of as many end users as possible, energy networks need to offer a variety of products. Join this session to gain insight into the new products networks will be procuring.



    Chair introduction
    Avi Aithal, head of open networks, Energy Networks Association

    Community DSO unearthing flexibility products
    Maurice Lynch, head of system flexibility, Northern Powergrid

    BiTraDER: bilateral trading of curtailment
    Geraldine Paterson, innovation development manager, Electricity North West

    Advancing flex market platforms and processes
    Catherine Winning, flexibility markets manager, SSEN

    talk title to be announed
    Phillipa Slater, director of asset management and operations support, National Grid Energy Distribution
14:45
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    One in four local authorities are working towards a local area energy plan (LAEP). However, for many already overstretched councils the cost and internal resources needed to complete this vital net zero blueprint have proved significant barriers to progress. With increasing pressure on statutory services, there is a risk that planning for net zero will be sidelined unless the government mandates action and provides councils the funding to deliver. 

    This session will outline Utility Week’s campaign lobbying government to mandate all local councils to produce a LAEP and provide the estimated £40 million of funding required to achieve this.

    The panel will be moderated by Utility Week editor James Wallin and will feature representatives of utilities, local authorities and expert observers.  

     



    Chair Introduction
    James Wallin, editor, Utility Week

    Panel
    Rory Mathews, senior policy and partnerships officer (Low Carbon), Greater Manchester Combined Authority

    Chris Brierley, senior advisor, Energy Systems Catapult

    Emily Wilson-Gavin, Head of Corporate Affairs, SSEN Distribution
15:00
  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    The water environment is facing ever-growing pressures around too much, too little and too dirty water, deepened by climate change and biodiversity crises, population growth and ageing assets. Nature-based solutions (in the context of catchment initiatives, hybrid green-grey infrastructure and natural solutions), can play a critical role in addressing these multiple challenges, and providing a more resilient and sustainable alternative. However, NBS are not common practice across the sector, are still seen as high risk, the uptake is very slow, and therefore, we are failing to maximise their full value. 

    Join this collaboration exchange session to explore:  

    • What is stopping the scale of adoption of NBS in the water sector? And how can the barriers be removed? 

    • Looking at the challenges in AMP8, what do we think are the key challenges and opportunities for NBS in the next AMP specifically?  

    • What can the industry collectively do with regulators and other stakeholders to enable the value of NBS to be maximised in the long-term?  What are the key levers that can drive action? 

    • What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate change?  


    Faciliator
    Amina Aboobakar, director of strategy and stewardship, The Rivers Trust, seconded from UU
  2. Innovation Stage

    The ever-growing skills gap and public perception of utilities creates a challenge to recruiting the future of the industry. How can we apply innovation principles to the way the water and energy companies recruit, onboard and retain talent? In this dynamic discussion, industry leaders and innovators will share insights, strategies, and case studies showcasing how utilities companies are revolutionising their approach to people management.



    Chair introduction
    Gabrielle Mandell, chief executive, Institute of Water

    Panel
    Ian Barker, vice president environment, Institute of Water

    Jason Elliott, co-founder, Get Knowledge

    Gemma Betney, head of workforce demand & resourcing, Anglian Water

    Angela Day, head of people, risk and compliance, MOSL
15:20
  1. Sustainable Infrastructure Stage

    Accounting and reporting scope 3 emissions is a critical step in the ‘race to zero’. Utility companies need to collaborate with their supply chain partners and be prepared to work in new ways to uncover innovations that will drive down emissions across the supply chain. Join this session to learn how utilities are managing and minimising scope 3 emissions and shifting to a circular economy.



    Chair introduction
    Lucinda Dann, features editor, Utility Week

    Decarbonisation of concrete
    Rachel Skinner, chair infrastructure carbon workstream, Infrastructure Client Group and Past President, ICE

    Demystifying the Whole Life Carbon Assessment and what this means for utility infrastructure
    Athina Papakosta, sustainability and carbon lead, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV; RICS WLCA PS co-author

    Innovative infrastructure: reducing carbon in materials
    Rossella Nicolin, head of sustainability for Europe, Laing O’Rourke
  2. Smart Utilities Stage

    Sponsored by:

    Mitigating cyber security risk is a priority for all major infrastructure, from telecoms to highways. infrastructure operators need to secure their assets as they embrace smart networks, sensors and digital twins which open asset owners up to new vulnerabilities. As utilities push to digitalise their assets and embrace open data, what digital security measures are necessary and required, and how is the legislative backdrop changing? Join this session to understand how to secure critical infrastructure from case studies and discover the shared responsibility for policymakers, regulators and infrastructure businesses.



    Chair introduction
    James Wallin, editor, Utility Week

    Providing insight into cyber standards and regulations
    Dr Richard Dobson, business leader – digital, Energy Systems Catapult

    Talk title to be announced
    Iain Dougan, head of IT operations – transmission IT, SSEN Transmission

    The role of telecoms in driving resilience for utilities
    Ian Smith, head of operations support, National Grid Electricity Distribution

    Revealing key insights from delivering digital security in the utilities sector
    John Elder, cyber security director, Jacobs
  3. Energy Flexibility Stage

    Sponsored by:

    As the UK prioritises the decarbonisation of heat, discover how the electrification of heat could provide an opportunity for managing grid constraint. Discover the latest updates, best practice and lessons learnt from pilots.



    Chair introduction
    Tom Lowe, founder, Thermal Storage UK

    Driving active consumer participation in flexibility
    Andrew Schein, director of trials and analysis, Centre for Net Zero

    Maximising the use of local green power
    Alex Howard, head of flexibility markets, UKPN

    Crowdflex
    Sanna Atherton, CrowdFlex project lead, ESO

    Providing the latest insights from domestic heat pump flexibility trials
    Alex Jakeman, associate director, Guidehouse
  4. Customer, Culture and Workforce Stage

    Following the second winter of the cost-of-living crisis, the industry is searching for the best tools to support customers from a range of backgrounds. Can pre-payment meters remain a viable tool following their reputational damage? What is the best form of social tariff, and what role can innovations in billing play? Join this session to understand the tools available to utilities to support customer payments.



    Chair introduction
    Adam John, Utility Week

    Mechanisms for rolling out social tariffs and prepayment meters
    Alexander Belsham Harris, Citizens Advice

    Vulnerability, debt and the role of suppliers
    Louise Walsh, chief customer contact officer, Utilita

    Innovative ways to serve vulnerable customers – new approaches to billing and service
    Dr Rose Chard, low income and vulnerable consumer practice manager, Energy Systems Catapult
15:45
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    Utilities must encourage women into the industry to overcome the aging workforce, growing skills gap and pressure to transform to sustainable, decarbonised industry. People need to demonstrate their support and understanding towards women in the utilities to create long lasting change. Allyship is critical to ensuring the progression and success of women and representation at board level. Join this session to uncover how to become an intentional advocate and what operating culture organisational changes to structure and recruitment strategies need to be adopted and embedded to establish an inclusive workplace. 



    Chair introduction
    Hayley Monks, founder, Womens Utilities Network

    Panel
    Justine Leadbetter, head of demand management, Water Research Centre

    Fiona Jackson, managing director, Fiona Jackson Consulting

    Mike Keil, chief executive, CCW

    Gary Ford, co-founder, Men for Inclusion
17:15
  1. Utility Week Forum Keynote Stage

    Net zero cannot happen without flexible energy – it’s as simple as that. Market makers, regulators and industry pioneers are working together to create an active flexibility market in the UK – but there are significant challenges ahead. Utility Week is delighted to support the emerging energy flexibility market with the launch of the Flex Awards hosted at Utility Week Live.  

    The Flex Awards will recognise market makers, movers and disruptors who are paving the way for energy flexibility to be rolled out. We will be showcasing the latest innovation, celebrating flexibility pioneers and unearthing the companies and individuals who are driving flex markets and end user engagement. 

    For information on how to enter the Awards, click here: https://www.flexawards.co.uk/



    Chair introduction
    James Wallin, editor, Utility Week

VISIT EUROPE’S ONLY PAN-UTILITY EXHIBITION!

Utility Week Live (21-22 May, NEC, Birmingham) is the energy and water industry’s biggest annual event. UWL will offer a host of new zones, features, and unmissable content designed to accelerate delivery - to a digitally enabled net zero future. Register FREE today.
 

REGISTER FREE