It hasn’t exactly been the 15th anniversary year that Energy Assets Group expected, but as Chief Executive Officer Colin Lynch explains, while the celebrations may have been put on hold, the company has remained focused on driving forward its energy metering, data services, utility construction and local energy network ownership business.
Q What are your reflections on the impact of the pandemic on Energy Assets Group (EAG)?
A These are challenging times for everyone – customers, staff and supply chain partners – but the robustness of our business model means EAG is continuing to weather the storm well and is in a better position than many companies. We have a very strong pipeline of project contracts which, along with our recurring revenue stream through asset ownership, gives us a solid platform upon which to expand.
Q Although these remain challenging times, are there any lessons that you can take away for the future?
A Yes, no matter how well you assess risk and plan for business disruption, you can never have all the solutions or processes. The speed at which the country went into lockdown caught everyone by surprise. It was a critical time with our people looking for leadership and direction. The key lesson was simple – be decisive, formulate a plan and deliver clear robust guidance. At the same time, we ensured we remained flexible and adaptable in a dynamic situation to provide the best possible support to our customers and to ensure the safety of our people and the communities we serve.
Q Where do you see the biggest opportunities for EAG?
A We operate in markets that are fundamental to the future prosperity of our country – energy metering, data collection and analytics; utility construction; and local network ownership. With the ever-increasing focus on energy efficiency, growing demand for housing, and the need for innovation in local network resilience to cope with greater electrification, we are strongly positioned for future, sustainable growth.
Q How will the company’s technology and service portfolio contribute towards the goal of Net Zero?
A Just about everything we do will be framed by the drive to Net Zero. Our metering will be the measure of sustainability for industry and commerce; our utility design and construction services will enable digitalisation, electrification and the push towards hydrogen; our advanced data analytics and control tools will drive energy efficiency; and our investment in artificial intelligence will help safeguard energy network resilience.
Q Do you see data becoming even more important for customers?
A Data is core to energy efficiency and much more, but data alone does not create value. One of the biggest challenges for energy managers can be the availability of too much data, so our market-leading AMR DNA system, which uses artificial intelligence, makes it easy to assimilate consumption data to reduce energy waste and optimise efficiency. Ongoing investment in our WebAnalyser platform will also enhance the ability of customers to access critical information via a dashboard of customisable data-driven reports.
Q How well is EAG positioned to help the economy ‘build back better’?
A For me, our entire business ethos is founded on continuous improvement, so in that sense we are perfectly aligned to the concept of ‘build back better’. This starts with having the right people in place, whatever the job role…whether that’s meter technician, construction operative, customer support team member, network designer or a senior leader. What shapes our future is our culture – living our values day-in, day-out to build the best future we can for the benefit of our people, customers, stakeholders and the wider community.
Q What are the trends in energy and utilities that will influence EAG’s operations?
A The UK government is prioritising a green revolution and for EAG this translates into opportunities in a number of areas, from integrating battery storage, solar panels and EV charging into local network ownership to delivering hydrogen gas networks and leveraging the value of data through AI to transform and measure energy efficiency. I firmly believe we have the people, the expertise, the business strength and the vision to play our part in a sustainable future.
Q What will success look like for EAG over the next 15 years?
A Business success is inevitably measured through revenues and balance sheet strength and of course these are fundamental to our ability to deliver our growth plans. However, I also think there’s a broader measure around the contribution we make as an enterprise to some of our country’s wider challenges, including equality of opportunity and social responsibility. We have developed a set of values that reflect our determination to be an employer of choice. I firmly believe that when we work together to a common purpose, great things will happen.