Having had direct experience of privatisation of the electricity industry and the commencement of competition in the electricity supply market, the two founder Directors initially established UPL to provide competitive energy contracts in the recently de-regulated supply Markets. Both quickly realised that clients needed help in all aspects of utility provision and were generally not aware of the impact of de-regulation and the choices they now had. Accordingly, they used their knowledge and contacts to begin to offer utility services beyond the supply market, helping clients obtain new connections for multiple new-site roll-out programmes. The enhancement of service provision, coupled with the sheer volume of demands from clients, led to UPL’s first major challenge, that of securing the human resources necessary to deliver against requirements. This was achieved through targeted recruitment supported by a strong ‘knowledge transfer’ programme to bring new recruits up to full effectiveness in the shortest possible time - a task made more crucial since the newly de-regulated market meant that prior experience was non-existent and new processes had to be developed for many activities. As de-regulation in the utility market continues, UPL remains dedicated to bringing the advantages of these changes to clients, not only as a ‘cause celebre’ but as a sound business strategy of being the first in the market to unlock potential benefits and develop a long-term income stream..

Success Factor

The deregulation of the Utility Market, which continues today, provided an ideal opportunity for UPL to establish an increasingly widening customer base. At a time when the choice of gas, water and electricity suppliers underwent rapid expansion, UPL were best placed to offer advice and procure best value service from distributors. In addition to the opening of the above market, the Regulator has introduced competition in the provision of new infrastructure utility connections and metering. This has provided UPL with the opportunity to use to its advantage the inability of the incumbent suppliers to meet customer expectations. As competition in connections continues to grow, UPL can respond to the opening of different market sectors by providing services that include metering and contestable engineering solutions.

The Future

UPL plan to continue its national growth and develop current relationships with customers. With the marketplace evolving at such a rapid pace, the business aims to offer existing clients a wider scope of added value services as well as source new customers that can benefit from its extensive energy solutions. It has recently embarked on a joint venture project involving the manufacture and distribution of specialist busbar equipment that will give rise to an entirely new branch of the business, create further job opportunities and further diversify UPL’s expertise both at home and abroad.