Utilities today face unprecedented pressures to be flexible, to transform their businesses amidst the uncertain and politically tense environment we find ourselves in, and, above all, to demonstrate they are delivering the best services they can to all their customers.
Responding to these pressures, companies are investing in innovation and new technologies, while also managing and maintaining assets which are sometimes decades old.
Some utilities have carved up their businesses in order to deliver new enterprises, focused on delivering fresh, and improved customer experiences or to advance the interests of a sustainable society.
But these strategies, and the industry as a whole, are nothing without the people who implement and deliver them.
Across the utilities sector, seasoned employees and recent recruits are stepping up to the plate to help their companies tackle the big issues facing the industry, the economy, communities and individuals.
They do this in a multitude of ways, by bringing fresh ideas to the table, by unlocking the secrets of industry and consumer data and simply by being passionate, engaged and inspiring individuals.
Not only this, many in the utilities sector have gone beyond the line of duty to reach out to members of their local communities to help improve their lives, and in some cases, save them.
Others have been a steady presence in a sector that has evolved dramatically over the years, and they are seeking ways to not only utilise their vast wealth of knowledge, but also seeking to share it with the new generation in order to keep the essential services of gas, water and electricity flowing.
The Utility Week Stars Awards recognised these oft unseen and unsung individual and team efforts.
At the Hilton on Deansgate, Manchester, the industry came together to share the hardworking, sometimes heroic and always inspiring stories from within the sector. They celebrated all the hard work and dedication that goes into delivering increasingly smart, fair and sustainable essential services.
In a time of change and uncertainty, the continued determination and pride taken by utilities employees remains a positive presence we all benefit from.
Congratulations to our 2017 Winners!