The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has appointed Mike Keil as its new head of policy and research, to replace Deryck Hall who is retiring.
Keil, who is currently business leader for asset strategy at Severn Trent, will join the water watchdog on 8 May.
Commenting on his appointment, Keil said: “CCWater does fantastic work on behalf of consumers and I am looking forward to continuing that.
“There has never been a more important time for the water sector because there is so much change going on. CCWater will need to be on top of its game to provide a strong voice for customers in the 2019 Price Review and in the new retail market which has just opened for business customers. There is also the possibility of household competition being introduced in the future and CCWater will have a key role to play in making sure that customers are protected in that.”
Keil spent the first decade of his career at the Met Office, during which time he completed his PhD in modelling the stratosphere. He helped expand the Met Office’s work on space weather and, when he left, was leading its middle atmosphere research group.
In 2007 he joined water industry regulator Ofwat as its first head of climate change policy and wrote its policy statement on the topic. He was also responsible for assessing the climate change elements of the 2009 Price Review.
He moved to Severn Trent in 2011 to lead the company’s work on climate change and resilience. In a role reversal from his job at Ofwat, he helped write the company’s business plan for the 2014 Price Review. This included writing the business case for the Birmingham Resilience Project, the biggest single investment by any water company at PR14.
In 2014, Keil went on secondment to run Severn Trent’s asset management department, consisting of more than 80 technical specialists, which gave him vital experience at the operational sharp end of a water company. In his current role as business leader for asset strategy he helps set the long-term direction for the company and is leading work to identify the key strategic issues that are likely to be driving future investment.
Keil will take over as head of policy and research from Hall, who has been in the role since December 2010.
CCWater chief executive Tony Smith said: “Mike will bring a wealth of water industry experience to our team and we are looking forward to welcoming him to CCWater next month. I would also like to thank Deryck for the excellent work he has done on behalf of water consumers for many years and wish him well in his retirement.”