Launching in 2009, Utility Team has grown to become one of the UK’s leading utility and energy consultants, with a team of 40 staff responsible for over £1billion of annual energy spend. Utility Team’s CEO, Delvin Lane, has been in the energy sector for over 25 years and is next to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Utility Team respond?
The pressure to reduce energy and carbon emissions will continue to mount for the UK plastics industry. The pressure will be shaped by a combination of regulatory, cost, and reputational drivers. Whilst it may feel like a constant ‘stick’ approach, the opportunity for the UK Plastics sector to save upwards of 20% of energy costs and promote its products in a sustainable way is clearly a commercial ‘carrot.’
The global Net-Zero movement is growing stronger daily. It enables forward-thinking organisations to plan, track, deliver and promote their individual journeys to a more sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective future.
Utility Team has been instrumental in leading the charge towards Net-Zero. As a founder partner of the future Net-Zero Standard, alongside being a market leader in buying, trading and optimising energy for some of the UK’s biggest public and private sector organisations places us in a unique position to support our clients.
Additionally, investment in energy efficiency technologies and our unique ‘Revolving Green Fund’ that provides interest-free funding to catalyse the delivery of energy efficiency measures make Utility Team your perfect partner.
How has Utility Team developed during your tenure?
The last five years have certainly been busy! Utility Team has grown from a small Midlands-based business to a market leader with clients across Europe. We have invested heavily in both people and systems to ensure that we can provide an industry-leading service whilst remaining lean and competitive.
I believe the most significant change has been the paradigm shift in our philosophy. We have changed the conversation from selling Kilowatts to truly understanding the energy and carbon ambitions and requirements of our clients to ensure that their medium and long term goals are matched with the transactional nature of buying energy.
This approach has seen us manage over two TWh and some 10,000 meter points, 90% of which are large private and public sector organisations.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
My people! No one individual can deliver the services, advice, and support that our clients need. We rely entirely on the integration, knowledge, and commitment of our employees to drive our success.
The global pandemic has seen our customers’ demands more than double as they looked to us for support during these unparalleled times. The commitment from the team has been inspiring despite the many personal and financial sacrifices that they faced.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Dealing with the Covid pandemic! I don’t think I have ever worked as hard as I have in the last 12 months.
At the start of the crisis, we had two choices – sit quietly and ride out the storm or take the risk by initiating several major workstreams to ensure we had the best chance of coming out of the other side in the best shape possible.
We chose the latter. We implemented the new international accounting system ‘IFRS15’ to ensure we have the most robust accounting practices anywhere in the world, providing a transparent and sustainable platform and giving our customers and stakeholders the confidence to work with us. We created and invested in a new technology start-up – ‘ARC’.
ARC is an energy efficiency technology that optimises cooling loads of packaged commercial and industrial chiller plant. Whilst in its infancy, the results thus far have been incredible, often delivering electrical energy savings in excess of 15%.
The national lockdowns also forced us to consider how we make ourselves visible to clients. We took the opportunity to recreate our digital presence completely – a fresh new rebrand, website and overhaul of our digital footprint and communications have led to a revitalised thought leadership strategy and lead generation capability.
Ultimately, these critical changes have enabled us to recruit additional staff across all areas of the business when many of our competitors have sadly seen redundancies and, in several cases, business closures.
What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?
I’ve was thinking about this very subject only last week when meeting with our four new apprentices.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 25 years in energy. It has not always been easy, far from it, but I have enjoyed it. When thinking about ‘why,’ I would have to say it is down to seeking out new opportunities, building many great friendships and networks constantly learning and adapting as our industry evolves.
The energy sector crosses every part of our personal and professional lives. My advice to our latest cohort of apprentices is to never stop learning and not just about our specific sector also learn about our customers’ challenges and opportunities.
What hidden talents do you have?
I love teaching. I often wondered if I should have gone into teaching like many of my friends and, indeed, my wife! I’ve coached volleyball and cricket for many years and really enjoy seeing my teams develop, and you simply can’t beat seeing the look on a person’s face when they finally crack a new skill that they didn’t think was possible!