Key Points
  • Increasing Switching, Reaching Vulnerable Customers & Building Consumer Confidence
  • Rewarding Loyal Customers, Smart Technology, Opportunities of Data & New Services
  • Challenger Suppliers, New Market Entrants, Decentralised Energy & Regulation
Guest of Honour

Roger Witcomb Competition and Markets Authority

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Overview
This event takes place a year on from the release of the CMA’s energy market reforms and as the debate about the merits or otherwise of an energy price cap continue following the announcement that a cap on Standard Variable Tariffs will feature in the Conservative Party’s General Election Manifesto.

Attendees will discuss future development for the UK Energy Retail Market, including Implications of price increase announcements (as three independent suppliers have backed calls for a price cap) as well as latest thinking on ways to empower consumers to find cheaper, better deals in the context of the update paper of the CMA’s market study into digital comparison tools.

Also, delegates will examine the key drivers for growth in the Energy Retail Market – including the emerging points of competition and differentiation between providers. Delegates will consider how the sector is set to evolve, how the energy industry is going to fully capitalise on the data received from the ‘smart’ revolution and - in the context of some high-profile ‘challenger providers’ not necessarily reaching the finish line – the future of competition in retail delivery.

Switching that Delivers for the Consumer

With recent figures showing switching has hit a six year high delegates will discuss how to build on this success and increase the number of consumers switching and the impact (if any) of the Ofgem energy supplier league table. Attendees will also consider the results from Ofgem’s ‘sticky customers database’ trial expected to be released this Spring, alongside an examination of a more active role for Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) to assist customers find the right deals for them. Sessions will consider how to reach the vulnerable and ‘fuel poor’ to promote the benefits of switching and assess the role of innovative time-of-use tarrifs.

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Emerging Business Models for Energy Suppliers

Sessions will provide an opportunity to consider emerging business strategies for energy suppliers; in particular how to retain ‘loyal customers’, reward loyalty and reduce complaints. Ways in which to utilise the proliferation of smart appliances and the smart meter rollout to empower the consumer as well as latest thinking on addressing the interoperability issue of smart meters installed in the foundation SMETS1 rollout losing the 'smart' functionality if customers switch supplier will also be discussed. In addition, delegates will consider the opportunities of the increasing volume of customer data to deliver better customer service and potentially provide other services.

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Reshaping of the Energy Market

The morning will provide an opportunity for attendees to focus on the changing nature of the energy retail sector and whether the drive to increase the number of ‘challenger’ suppliers is increasing the risk to consumers (in the context of GB Energy’s closure in November). Attendees will assess potential impacts of stress tests being mooted by Ofgem and the prospects for central government intervention in the market (and what form that might take). The extent to which new tech players and local authorities providing energy services will disrupt the market and how they might fit into a more flexible and decentralised energy system will also be considered.


Agenda
Start

08:30 - 09:00
Registration, Coffee and Networking

 

09:00 - 09:05
Chair and Policy-UK Welcoming remarks

 

Speakers

Stuart Cook Head of Utility Strategy & Regulation - PwC

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09:05 - 09:35
Competition and Markets Authority Energy Market Investigation – A Year On

 

Speakers

Daniel Gordon Senior Director - Markets, Competition and Markets Authority

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Roger Witcomb Competition and Markets Authority

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09:35 - 10:35
Switching that Delivers for the Consumer - Increasing Switching, Reaching Vulnerable Customers & Building Consumer Confidence

 
    • With the number of consumers switching energy supplier reaching a six year high in 2016 what can be done to build on this success, particularly from more expensive Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) and the majority who switch infrequently?
    • How far is the push for consumers to switch suitably driving competition in the market? Is Consumer laziness/hesitancy preventing greater competition and price cuts?
    • How can those most in need of competitive energy: the vulnerable; fuel poor and those on low or fixed income, be engaged and encouraged to ‘shop around’?
    • Will the price cap for prepayment customers be sufficient in reducing their energy bills?
    • To what extent should suppliers seek to simplify the range of tariffs available to consumers to increase confidence, understanding and engagement with the market?
    • Conversely would expanding the range of innovative tariffs such as time-of-use tariffs result in increased benefits and to what extent are consumers are ready for this kind of change?
    • With reports suggesting Ofgem’s ‘sticky customers database’ solution put forward in the CMA report has not yielded positive results what are other options to encourage switching?
    • What is the likely impact of a price cap on the number of those choosing to switch?
    • How far will the Ofgem Supplier League Table published in December increase transparency of tariffs?
    • With the CMA recommending a more active role for Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) in facilitating consumers switching, what measures need to be taken to ensure PCW access to meter data is secure?
    • What can the energy sector learn from other consumer markets about regulating PCWs and what are the expected final outcomes of the CMA market study into digital comparison tools following the update paper published in March?



      Speakers

      Stuart Lacey CEO, ElectraLink

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      Gillian Cooper Head of Retail Energy Markets, Citizens Advice

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      Richard Neudegg Head of Regulation, uSwitch.com

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      Anthony Pygram Partner - Consumers & Competition, Ofgem

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      10:35 - 10:40
      Chair’s Closing Comments

       

      Speakers

      Stuart Cook Head of Utility Strategy & Regulation - PwC

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      10:40 - 11:05
      Refreshments and Networking break

       

      11:05 - 11:10
      The Chair’s Welcome Back

       

      Speakers

      Stuart Cook Head of Utility Strategy & Regulation - PwC

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      11:10 - 12:05
      Emerging Business Models for Energy Suppliers - Rewarding Loyal Customers, Smart Technology & New Service Opportunities

       
      • What emerging business strategies are there for energy suppliers - in particular how to retain ‘loyal customers’, reward loyalty and reduce complaints?
      • How can energy suppliers turn the increasing volume of customer data to deliver better customer service?
      • What opportunities are there for energy suppliers to move into other consumer services?
      • How best can the proliferation of smart appliances and the smart meter rollout be utilised to empower the consumer?
      • What is the latest thinking to address the interoperability issue of meters installed in the foundation SMETS1 rollout losing the 'smart' functionality if customers switch supplier?

      Speakers

      Helen Fleming Director of Corporate Affairs, Data Communications Company

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      Mark Coyle Chief Strategy Officer, Utiligroup

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      Dave Hennekes Vice President, National Gas & Electric

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      12:05 - 12:55
      Reshaping of the Energy Market - Challenger Suppliers, New Market Entrants & Government Intervention

       
        • With the new Government intervention in the energy retail market now very likely regardless of which party forms the next Government what is the expected impact on the market?
        • To what extent is a price cap overseen by Ofgem likely to deliver lower bills for consumers?
        • What are the options for how long a cap on SVTs would be set and how long it would last?
        • What are the options to limit the volatility of the market in the context of the demise of GB Energy in November 2016?
        • What needs to be done to ensure challenger suppliers are able to effectively compete; whilst simultaneously being financially secure?
        • What is the likely result of potential Ofgem stress tests of energy suppliers?
        •  How far are the growing number of local authority energy suppliers expected to change the energy retail market?
        • How likely is it that smaller, locally focussed suppliers will feature in the BEIS and Ofgem response to their smart, flexible energy consultation?



          Speakers

          Chris Bolt Consultant, Berwin Leighton Paisner

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          Jon Ferris Strategy Director, Utilitywise

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          12:55 - 13:00
          Chair’s and Policy-UK’s Thanks

           

          Speakers

          Stuart Cook Head of Utility Strategy & Regulation - PwC

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          End

          Speakers

          Chris Bolt Consultant, Berwin Leighton Paisner

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          Stuart Cook Head of Utility Strategy & Regulation - PwC

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          Gillian Cooper Head of Retail Energy Markets, Citizens Advice

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          Mark Coyle Chief Strategy Officer, Utiligroup

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          Helen Fleming Director of Corporate Affairs, Data Communications Company

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          Dave Hennekes Vice President, National Gas & Electric

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          Stuart Lacey CEO, ElectraLink

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          Richard Neudegg Head of Regulation, uSwitch.com

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          Anthony Pygram Partner - Consumers & Competition, Ofgem

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          Roger Witcomb Competition and Markets Authority

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          Jon Ferris Strategy Director, Utilitywise

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          Attending
          • Baringa
          • Bath & North East Somerset Council
          • Berenberg
          • Birmingham City Council
          • British Gas
          • Committee on Climate Change
          • Competition and Markets Authority
          • Community Infrastructure Group
          • Consumer Council for NI
          • Coop
          • Deloitte
          • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
          • Economic Insight
          • Ecuity Consulting
          • EDF Energy
          • E.ON
          • EY
          • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
          • ICF Consulting
          • npower
          • Poyry Management Consulting
          • SmartestEnergy
          • Solarplicity
          • The Times
          • Utiligroup
          • whg

          Venue details

          Royal Society of Chemistry Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA.

          Venue website

          Royal Society of Chemistry

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