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LATEST MARKET UPDATE: Gas and Power prices are largely trading at parity with last week’s levels, despite some significant price swings at the front of the pricing curve. The bout of low pressure has seen reduced wind output, increasing demand for gas-fired power generation and stretching a European gas system which is struggling to attract global LNG. Winter prices have also been volatile with concerns over gas storage levels being partially offset by positive supply news surrounding the potential completion of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. Prices further out have been softer, as renewed coronavirus fears in the wake of the delta variant have weigh on global oil markets.

Meet the Team - Lee Jacques, Operations Director


What is your role?
I am the Operations Director. Ilee proper am responsible for service delivery and ensuring everything runs smoothly for our customers; this involves making sure their contracts are live and ensuring that we meet our contractual obligations and deliver to our service level agreements. I am also responsible for managing our relationships with suppliers. 

I am a member of the Board, which entails me being involved in the key decisions on how we run our business and how these decisions feed into our overall business strategy. I am constantly reviewing our current systems and processes to ensure they are fit for purpose, and they meet the needs of our customers and our employees. In addition to this, I am also responsible for identifying new products and services we should be looking to introduce to enhance our customer offering.

How do you see the future of UK energy developing?
The landscape of the industry is going to have significant changes. Everyone has always talked about renewable energy and becoming green. Now customers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, they’re ready to do their bit, and we’re in a great position to support this move to green energy.

How long have you been in the industry for?
I've been around the energy industry for thirteen years now, and I've been at Utility Team for nearly six years.

What is the biggest challenge in your department?
We are successfully winning more and more larger organisations, and with larger organisations comes more extensive responsibilities and expectations, which is no problem for us; it just means every day is different! We have really boomed over the last few years, so we're always adding more staff; my challenge is making sure we have enough of the right people to manage the workload as we continue to grow.


 ''We do everything we can for our customers; we are an extension of their business. Everything they do, energy-wise, we try and assist with as much as we can, from submitting meter reads to site audits, we do it all.''


What does your average day look like?
As a business, we're digitising and developing our systems to make sure they're always fit for purpose. My primary remit at the moment is advancing the systems; I'm automating as many services as I can. We implemented Salesforce in 2018 and was great for us; it started off as a sales tool that has quickly evolved into a complete end-to-end business management system, that manages everything that we do from contracting to finance to service delivery.

How is your department supporting net zero for our customers?
Customer's need to understand their carbon footprint before they set out their net zero targets and strategy. Once we understand the data, we can help them find ways to become a net zero organisation. We're currently rolling out training for the operations team to further develop their energy knowledge. We are looking at ways to identify areas we can add value to maximise our impact on our customer's accounts and strengthen our client relationships. Our core function will always be serving our clients and making sure we're doing everything we can for them. My team are constantly looking for opportunities to promote net zero and energy efficiency solution, this will be through analysing data and making it clear to the customer where the opportunities are.  

What does your department do for UT customers?
We do everything we can for our customers; we are an extension of their business. Everything they do, energy-wise, we try and assist with as much as we can, from submitting meter reads to site audits, we do it all. We always promote bespoke service level agreements with our key clients to set out what our customers can expect from a partnership with us. You must deliver on your promises, so we put these pledges in black and white so that customers can hold us to account. Our industry gets a bad rep and sometimes deservedly so, so we really believe in the value of our service level agreements and being up front and honest with our clients around their expectations. 

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK energy?
I think you'll be seeing a lot more electric vehicles in the next ten years. I recently had a meeting with one of our key customers, Instavolt, who said that if your next car is not electric, then your next car after that definitely would be. EV’s are going to have to be cheaper and more accessible to the public. I also think we will start to replace central gas heating with more efficient electric heaters; this topic has been brought up a lot recently.

What advice do you wish you had when entering the industry?
I've been in the industry for thirteen years now, and I've recently changed roles from sales to operations. It's really easy to come into the industry and get stuck in your ways, but I think it's great to look at all business areas. You should really keep an open mind; there are always new things to learn and as you grow with the business, so do your interests. Everyone will always need energy, so it's a promising stable career to be involved in.

How has your role changed since the pandemic?
I never expected that I'd work from home; I prefer being in the office. I think I worked harder than ever; it was constant teams and zoom calls. For all businesses, I believe it's an opportunity to reset and think about how we work. I think most companies will change how they work moving forwards. We saw the pandemic as an opportunity to think about what business we want to be at the end of this. We've got so many new projects coming up, and I'm super excited to roll these out

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