Utility Week Live 2023 opens its doors to the public on 16 May with our biggest ever programme of content.
The UK’s only pan-utility exhibition will bring together over 3,000 sector professionals at the Birmingham NEC for two days of presentations, discussions and workshops on the topics that matter most to the industry. Meanwhile, more than 200 market leading exhibitors and partners will showcase the latest innovative products and solutions.
The content will be spread across five action-packed theatres, as well as a series of Collaborate Exchange interactive sessions. Exciting new features for this year’s exhibition, which is sponsored by Google Cloud, include the House of the Future, demonstrating the art of the possible in retrofitting, smart home and EV charging solutions.
The keynote stage will focus on the topic of ‘the new world order’, asking whether utilities can prove themselves resilient to the interlocking challenges of climate change, shifting societal expectations and technological complexity. Among the sector leaders discussing these issues will be:
- Jonathan Brearley, chief executive, Ofgem
- Monica Collings, chief executive, So Energy
- Cordi O’Hara, president of National Grid Electricity Distribution
- John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid
- Fintan Slye, executive director of the Electricity System Operator (ESO)
- Chris Stark, chief executive of the Climate Change Committee
Across three challenge stages, sector experts will discuss how we can speed up innovation and deliver better outcomes for customers, today and tomorrow. The programme is built around the most critical challenges facing utilities:
- Asset management
- Water 2023
- Decarbonisation – delivering net zero
- New approaches to capital delivery
- Optimising workforce and field operations
- Data and digitalisation
- Smart, flexible networks
Our Innovation programme allows the audience to learn from Utility Week Live’s partners as they share their latest thinking on speeding up and scaling innovation to deliver net zero targets and provide better outcomes for customers.
Our Collaborate Exchange smaller peer-to-peer discussion sessions allow attendees to delve deep into some of these key topics. These moderated sessions will invite the views of around 20 participants as we seek to bring collaborative innovation to bear on shared challenges.
Utility Week Live portfolio director Ellen Bennett said: “Utilities are being battered by headwinds from all sides – from mitigating the impacts of extreme weather to tackling affordability and security of supply challenges. Yet through it all, they remain committed to keeping the lights on, the taps running and the gas flowing. Alongside these live challenges, the sector is in the vanguard of the transition to smart, net zero infrastructure.
“Utility Week Live 2023, the UK’s only pan-utility exhibition, brings these issues to life with our biggest ever free-to-attend content programme. We will unite 3,000 leading pan-utility professionals under one roof to share their experiences, ideas and challenges. It showcases the most innovative solutions from hundreds of industry suppliers and partners. It celebrates the innovation inherent in the utilities industry and creates a time and space to drive that innovation forward.”
Highlights from the programme
16 May, 11.30am-12.30pm, Keynote Stage Future utility services: navigating consumer expectation, minimum service provision and the costs of climate adaptation
As utilities lead the way through the energy transition and tackle the climate emergency, expectations and social norms around the use of energy and water are changing. Does everyone have the right to as much water and energy as they want, whenever they want it? If so, how do we deliver and pay for the infrastructure for this? If not, how do we make these very difficult decisions about who can use what, and when? This high level debate will bring together a selection of industry leaders to pose and answer some of the difficult questions that will shape both utilities and society as a whole in the years and decades ahead.
- Paul Fuller, Head of regulation – So Energy
- Fintan Slye, Executive director – ESO
- Ian Cameron, Director of customer service and innovation – UKPN
- Amy Marshall, Consumer energy expert – PA Consulting
16 May, 2.15pm – 3.25pm, Customers & Teams Stage Smart metering – finishing the job
In this session, we will explore what needs to be done to get more meters onto the walls of persistently disengaged or sceptical customers and what steps still need to be taken to ensure smart meter data is working as hard as it can to deliver customer benefits and market innovation.
Hear from expert speakers on:
- Generating demand and tackling the harder to reach installations – closing the engagement gap- George Walters, Chief home services officer, Utilita
- Optimising the data value chain for innovation – Jeremy Yapp, Head of flexible energy systems, BEAMA
- Maximising the value of smart meter data – what next?- Dr Katie Russell, Data director, OVO
- Optimising customer engagement – Ronald Starreveld, Enterprise architect, Salesforce
17 May, 9.45am – 10.55am, Net Zero Stage Tackling combined stormwater overflows
Awareness and concern about the volume of sewage entering our rivers and seas has gained momentum with widespread calls for the water sector to improve the situation. This is a complex situation, so what are the most effective approaches to significantly reducing the use of storm overflows and improving the quality of bathing and river water?
Hear from our expert speakers on:
- Significantly reducing overflows for cleaner seas and rivers – our approach- Nick Mills, Storm Overflow Task Force and Southern Water
- Putting green recovery funding to use – using nature based solutions to manage surface water – Adam Boucher, Operations Lead – Green Recovery, Mansfield Sustainable Flooding Resilience, Severn Trent
- Water quality risk forecasting – real time water quality and AI monitoring at Warleigh Weir and Poole Harbour – Ruth Barden, Wessex Water
- Working towards a sewer overflow free future – a practical approach to a shared problem- Matt Humphreys, Adler and Allen
17 May, 11.30-12.30, Keynote Stage Resilience and the interdependencies between critical infrastructure
As the incidence of extreme weather events increases, utilities and other providers of critical national infrastructure need to plan, invest and respond in new ways. Yet at the same time, increasing digital complexities and converging dependence on power are making it harder to confidently invest for future resilience. This session will explore the risks to critical national infrastructure posed by today’s changing world, and explore how utilities are responding.
- Cathryn Ross, Director of strategy and external affairs – Thames Water
- Mark Enzer OBE, Deputy chair, digital twin hub – connected places catapult and strategic advisor – Mott MacDonald
- James Heath, Chief executive – National Infrastructure Commission
- Molly Strauss, Head of infrastructure – GLA
- Professor Roger Kemp, Lancaster University
17 May, 2.15pm-3.25pm, Smart Stage Holistic Leakage Management – Prevent, Aware, Locate and Mend
Leakage continues to be a pressing issue for the water sector as it strives to protect water security. With tough targets set to save billions of litres of water a day by 2030 water companies need to fight battles on many fronts to stop water escaping from their networks – and this must include a focus on prevention of bursts before they add to the problem.
Hear from our expert speakers on:
- Leak Prevention: How do we stop them even occurring? -Jeremy Heath, Head of innovation, SES Water
- National Leakage Research and Test Centre – Enabling innovative solutions – Clive Surman Wells, Innovation partnerships manager, Northumbrian Water Group
- Best practice in engaging with consumers to cut customer-side leakage – Scott King, Benefits realisation manager, Anglian Water
- How can we accelerate the detection of leakage? – Mike Smith, Executive director, smart utilities networks, Arqiva