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Agenda – day one

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8 October 2019

8:40 am

Registration, refreshments & networking

9:20 am

Welcome and chair’s opening remarks


9:25 am

Creating sustainable utilities of the future

9:25 am

Creating policy to lay the foundations for sustainable energy

  • Getting to the crucial net zero carbon target
  • Obtaining the extra 20% of carbon levels
  • The benefits of being green and sustainability leaders


  • Julian Critchlow

    Julian Critchlow
    Director general, energy transformation and clean growth - BEIS

9:45 am

Ensuring long-term sustainability in the water system

  • Climate change and population growth – the big sustainability challenges
  • The cost-benefit analysis of sustainable abstraction
  • Providing a clear framework for water resource planning


10:05 am

Regulating for zero carbon

  • Joining the policy and regulatory dots
  • The impacts of the net zero target on the realities of regulation


10:15 am

Developing a future-proof utility

  • How deals are done (including examples of Co-op and others)
  • The human side
  • The importance of platform
  • In conversation with the editor – exploring the expansion of Octopus Energy


10:30 am

CEO panel: climate crisis and utility strategy

  • Are utilities doing enough to mitigate the impacts of climate change?
  • Are customers willing to pay for decarbonisation and climate resilience?
  • Is regulation holding utilities back from bolder action?
  • Has Brexit already derailed the Net Zero ambition?


11:20 am

Refreshments, networking & exhibition

11:50 am

Regulation for the 2020s

11:50 am

Regulators’ interview: dissent and disruption

  • Price control negotiations – what do the chief regulators think about the industry criticisms of PR19 and RIIO2?
  • Regulation and climate crisis – how will regulatory remits and toolkits change to reflect the increased emphasis on mitigating climate change?
  • Innovation – how are regulatory approaches to supporting innovation changing?
  • The future of consumer protection and economic regulation – can Ofwat and Ofgem deal effectively with both disciplines or should the structure of the UK utilities regulation change?


12:40 pm

Buffet lunch, networking & exhibition

1:40 pm

Evolving business models and new players

1:40 pm

Embracing new business models

  • Challenging the status quo to benefit customers
  • Establishing a new way of doing things in a conservative market
  • Future utility business models: more specialisation or integration?


2:00 pm

Creating and working in new energy markets

  • Creating codes of conducts to ensure quality service
  • Establishing and filling a new market need
  • Working out how to work with the establishment


2:05 pm

Check back soon for more details

2:20 pm

Competing and changing in new markets

  • Establishing Business Stream in the non-domestic water market
  • Changing with the market
  • Preparing for how the water retail sector will evolve


  • Jo Dow

    Jo Dow
    Chief executive - Business Stream

2:40 pm

Questions and panel debate: new business models, new players

  • Overcoming the fear of the unknown – how to engage customers with something new
  • Polarising customer desires – engagement vs delegation
  • Technology and agility – new entrant advantage?
  • Getting barriers to entry right
  • Growth ambitions – does size still matter?
3:00 pm

Refreshments, networking & exhibition

3:30 pm

Deploying and developing cutting edge tech

3:30 pm

Using innovation to deliver long-term resilience

  • Identifying the resilience challenges
  • Creating a smarter water system
  • Innovating in a tightly regulated sector


  • Tony Ballance

    Tony Ballance
    Director of strategy and regulation - Severn Trent Water

3:50 pm

Check back soon for more details

4:05 pm

Tech and innovation panel debate:

  • Are utilities making the most of the unknown – how to engage customers with something new
  • Tech tips – what’s next off the hype curve?
  • Tech talent – a utilities weak spot
  • Climate change – an innovation opportunity?


4:50 pm

Questions and answers

5:00 pm

End of Congress day one

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Complimentary Congress networking dinner

Join us to network with speakers, connect with potential partners, and unpick the event’s hottest topics over drinks and dinner in an informal setting.

The dinner is always a highlight of the event and limited places remain – book early to avoid disappointment.

  • Please fill out the short form below to download the Utility Week Congress 2019 conference brochure:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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