UK Power Networks (UKPN) has appointed Ann Bishop as the chair of its RIIO-ED2 Customer Engagement Group (CEG).

Bishop has more than 30 years’ experience with regulated infrastructure businesses and regulators in the UK and overseas.

She is the founder of consultancy firm Indepen, which has convened and chaired cross disciplinary groups to address controversial issues in the public, private and third sectors.

Bishop is described as having a “wealth of governance experience” from working with boards and leading panels to review and challenge the thinking, strategies and plans of infrastructure businesses.

As part of the RIIO2 price controls set out by Ofgem, distribution network operators (DNOs) are required to set up independently chaired customer engagement groups.

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.

Speaking about her appointment, Bishop said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead UK Power Networks’ CEG.

“It has never been more important to ensure that the energy networks meet the needs of their customers.

“I will use my experience and that of the panel to encourage ambition in UK Power Networks as it prepares its RIIO-ED2 business plan.”

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UKPN, aded: “Ann brings a unique blend of knowledge, skills and perspective to this role. Her determination and energy to make sure that customers’ real priorities are central to our business plan will ensure that we will deliver what matters most to our customers.

“The CEG has a crucial role to play in critiquing our planning and importantly providing Ofgem with an independent view of our processes.

“This will be across areas including customer research and services, support for vulnerable households, investment in innovation and our transition to becoming a distribution system operator.”

Other DNOs to have appointed chairs to their CEG include Electricity North West with Jeff Halliwell and Western Power Distribution who announced Duncan McCombie last year.

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