Electricity North West (ENW) has announced the appointment of eight industry experts to its newly-formed customer engagement group (CEG).

As part of the RIIO2 price controls set out by Ofgem, distribution network operators (DNOs) are required to set up independently chaired CEGs. This, the industry regulator says, will challenge the business plans proposed by the network companies for the next round of price controls.

As well as the CEGs, Ofgem will establish an independent RIIO2 challenge group to look at plans proposed by the companies. This will operate in parallel with the CEGs.

The appointees include experts specialising in energy, regulation, communications and customer engagement and will hold their first meeting this month.

They include:

  • Jayne Scott, who has experience of regulatory economics, including being a former non-executive director of the energy sector regulator.
  • Professor Jovica Milanovic, chair in Electrical Power Engineering and deputy head of school of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester who brings engineering and technical experience.
  • Bev Keogh, a former director at Scottish and Southern Electricity, specialising in energy sector structure.
  • David Holden sits on the Heathrow consumer challenge board and Ofcom’s consumer communication panel bringing experience in consumer market research.
  • Caroline Farquhar is senior policy researcher in the energy networks and systems team at Citizens Advice.
  • Todd Holden is a director for low carbon at The Growth Company and brings experience in sustainability.
  • Jenny Willis has supported SGN and SP Energy Networks with their stakeholder engagement and has extensive experience working in research and participation
  • Independent board secretariat and report drafting is being led by Gemma Osula.

The group is headed by independent chair Jeff Halliwell who took up his position in January.

Halliwell also heads Heathrow Airport’s consumer challenge board and Anglian Water’s customer engagement forum .

He said: “I’m delighted to have appointed eight key players to our CEG following a comprehensive recruitment programme.

“ENW is one of the first electricity distribution network operators to have established this group across the country and so their customers will be first to reap the benefits.

“Each group member brings a diversity of skills and experiences which will only serve to really benefit ENW customers.

“I’m now looking forward to meeting as a group and starting to work with Peter Emery, ENW’s chief executive, to ensure the company’s plans deliver for the people of the North West.”

Emery added: “I’m looking forward to working with the industry experts who have formed the CEG.

“We’re at a critical point for the electricity infrastructure in the North West where demand is set to increase as the transformation to a low carbon economy quickens.

“It’s vital to get the balance right between investing to support this growth and keeping a tight grip on costs so that everyone in the North West benefits.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to help ensure that the North West has a green, clean future through the launch of our ‘leading the North West to zero carbon’ plan.

“As well as already investing £1 million per day, we’re committing an additional £63.5 million over the next four years to encourage the take up of new low carbon technologies.

“We will be looking to continue this work helped by the insight of the CEG.”

Last month it was reported that five companies were thought to have made it through to the final bidding round for the sale of ENW.

In a recent interview with Utility Week’s sister title Network Magazine, Emery admitted that the company is undergoing a strategic review that could lead to a sale of the business.

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