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The subject of discussion will be: Electric cars, energy storage and smart networks will transform (are already transforming) our energy system. Heat, which accounts for almost half of energy consumed, lags behind, with no substantive progress to date.

Government ambitions include small things (phasing out high carbon usage in off-gas-grid homes “during the 2020s”) and somewhat bigger things (heat networks – agnostic about fuels – rolled out by local authorities). But there is no clear view about how heat will be decarbonised, no policy for the future. Why not? The big alternatives – those that will make the difference – are at two extremes: green gas injected into the gas network (which, say some, is unproven and depends on technology not yet established), and electrification (which will require major new generation/network management and reinforcement, and some say can’t be done).

Are the alternatives really unproven or impossible? And do we have to opt for one or the other?


Volker Beckers (Discussion Chair), Hon VP EUF, Chair PwC UK, Industry Director Elexon

Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Minister of Energy & Honorary VP EUF

John Feddersen, CEO Aurora Energy Research

Edward Libbey, Deputy-Chairman EUF

Laura Sandys, Challenging Ideas

Sally Barrett-Williams, Chairman and Advisory Board Member EUF

Maxine Frerk, Director of Grid Edge Policy

Stuart Easterbrook, Future Gas Strategy Manager Cadent

Neil Sampson, Treasurer EUF

Tom Greatrex, Advisory Board Member EUF, CEO NIA

Steve Blackwell, Joint Treasurer EUF

Nicola Pitts, Head of Market Change Gas National Grid

Gareth Miller, CEO Cornwall Insight

Richard Leyland, Deputy Director Heat Programme BEIS

Nathan Sanders, MD SSE Enterprise Utilities

Paul Bircham, Commercial Strategy & Support Director Electricity North West

Tony Glover, Director of Policy Energy Networks Association

Ian Smyth, Director UK Power Networks Services

Laurence Carpanini, Director Smarter Energy IBM

Jon Slowe, Director Delta-ee

Todd Williams, MD Navigant

Rich Hampshire, VP Digital Utilities CGI

Andrew Musgrave, Head of Network Strategy, Scotia Gas Networks

Peter Atherton, FTI Consulting

Peter Metcalf, Senior Manager in Digital & Strategy, Bearing Point

Heather Powell, Head of Energy and Environment, National Physical Laboratory

Fiona Navesey, Director Wholesale Electricity Markets Centrica

The sponsor of the dinner was Electricity North West