Strategic Stakeholder Panels

Making business decisions that support the priorities of our customers and stakeholders now and into the future.

In each of our licence areas, we meet quarterly with a varied group of external stakeholders to discuss the key strategic decisions we face as a business and gather valuable feedback and advice to help us strengthen our business.

Our two strategic stakeholder panels bring together representatives from a wide range of sectors and interests, including national government, local government, industry and the third sector.

Each panel delivers regular reports to the Chief Executive and SP Energy Networks Board of Directors to provide external influence over future plans and operations.

Background

Image4SEWe began looking at the idea of forming a strategic stakeholder panel in late 2013, and developed the structure further after speaking in depth to 20 of our key stakeholders and holding two discussion workshops attended by over 40 delegates in early 2014.

Since 2014, we have continued to refine the structure and content of the panels in partnership with panel members, increasing the number and breadth of expertise in our membership, organising visits for them to better understand our business and adapting the meeting format to suit the subject matter.

Recognising the specific needs of our Transmission business, we held a Transmission Strategic Stakeholder Workshop in March 2016, to better understand the needs of our Transmission stakeholders.

ObjectivesImage5SE

  • Invite challenge, feedback, advice and support on decisions proposed by the SP Energy Networks Board of Directors
  • Provide a forum for open and in-depth discussion with a discrete group of stakeholders who become very well-informed of our business operations
  • Build relationships and identify opportunities for partnership working 

We continually seek to broaden membership of our panels to increase our understanding of existing and emerging priorities. If you would like to be considered, please register as a stakeholder, stating your specialism and that you are interested in becoming a panel member.

Meeting summaries

Scottish Distribution Panel

Meeting 8 - 16 June 2016 - Edinburgh

Meeting 8 - 16 June 2016 - Edinburgh

During this meeting we discussed:

  • Business updates – including engagement on connection issues, meeting with Ofgem, District Stakeholder Panels, involvement of young farmers, SPEN’s new mobile exhibition unit and the implications of SPEN becoming a DSO. 
  • Scottish government update – new appointments post-election, the energy strategy, Scottish Affairs Select Committee and changes to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).
  • Other updates included information about the Persons at Risk Database (PARD), new National Energy Centre, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Lloyds Register and the new CARE innovation and infrastructure fund.
  • Outcomes from Panel meetings over the last year including some additional discussion about social issues work being undertaken by SPEN.
  • ED1 Delivery and useful topics to discuss at future meetings
  • Annual reporting – SPEN’s annual reporting format was discussed to enable Panel members to make suggestions about content, format and style that they felt would make the annual report as useful as possible to stakeholders.
  • Promoting equal access to employment and education – including SPEN current policies and practice and suggestions from panel members in relation to part time and flexible working, focusing on ‘second careers’, modern apprenticeships and publicising new approaches and opportunities.

Meeting 7 - 23 February 2016 - Cumbernauld

Meeting 7 - 23 February 2016 - Cumbernauld

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • SP Energy Networks training programme – this involved a tour of facilities at Dealain House and a chance to meet trainers and apprentices. 
  • Business updates – including severe weather response/resilience, Green Energy Awards, SPEN’s customer awareness campaign, connections engagement and innovation.
  • Sustainability - a broad deliberative discussion on what a sustainable power distribution company of the future looks like and how SP Energy Networks can begin to take incremental steps to achieve this goal.
  • Jobs and skills – highlighting that having the right people with the right skills in the right places is essential for efficient and effective delivery, how SP Energy Networks are working to achieve this and how further collaboration can enhance these efforts.

Meeting 6 - 2 October 2015 - Edinburgh

Meeting 6 - 2 October 2015 - Edinburgh

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Business updates – including progress on ED1, uncertainties in the renewables sector, the Trusted Partner Network, Incentive on Connections Engagement, winter preparedness, bedding in of SP Energy Networks new district structure and development of the new Headquarters office in Glasgow.
  • Scottish Government update – this related mainly to issues in the renewables sector.
  • Environmental Discretionary Reward (EDR) – Jane McMillan, Head of Sustainability for SP Energy Networks, introduced herself as a new member of staff and welcomed the opportunity to seek dialogue with the Panel.  Discussion focussed on improving partnership and collaboration in relation to innovation and had two main strands, one relating to the delivery function and the other about how businesses are managed.
  • Smart meters – Jim Sutherland outlined the main facts about smart meters and explained that a UK cost analysis had concluded on balance that it would be worth installing smart meters but that this was not the case in every EU country. Roll out of smart meters was discussed and there was a particular emphasis on data management – its pitfalls and potential.

Meeting 5 - 28 May 2015 - Glasgow

Meeting 5 - 28 May 2015 - Glasgow

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Business updates – including the current situation with onshore wind, fuel poverty, local decision making, employment and economic development opportunities, security of supply and the end of the 2010-15 DPCR5 investment period
  • Scottish Government update – focus on implications of the UK General Election outcome
  • Connecting Community Renewables – exploration of the issues facing community renewables, the definition of community energy and current context, supply and demand issues, smart grid development and grid access
  • Metal theft – an outline of the problem, its impact, and the steps that we are taking to reduce the incidence. Panel members contributed additional ideas to help develop further measures to combat metal theft
  • Panel review – a discussion based on the outcome of the panel review that was undertaken after the initial few meetings of the Stakeholder Panels in both Scotland and England & Wales

Meeting 4 - 26 February 2015 - Glasgow

Meeting 4 - 26 February 2015 - Glasgow

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Business updates – including the new business plan and structure, winter resilience performance, social issues and communications
  • Scottish Government update – with discussion focussing on consultation events planned in relation to the publication of ‘Scotland in the United Kingdom: An enduring settlement’
  • Future networks – with a focus on innovation, including funding future thinking and investment and conflicting pressures
  • Connecting community renewables – a brief discussion in advance of this topic featuring in the next meeting

Meeting 3 - 3 December 2014 - Glasgow

Meeting 3 - 3 December 2014 - Glasgow

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Business updates – discussion of our 2015-2023 RIIO-ED1 business plan, including plans to operationalise a new business model, update on pre-winter severe weather preparations, details of a customer awareness campaign and an update on SP Energy Networks’ transmission business.
  • Black start and rota disconnection – presentation about black-start planning and general issues relating to security of supply
  • Social issues update – covering the activities of the working group about black-start planning and general issues relating to security of supply
  • Scottish constitution update – presentation by Scottish Government representative followed by discussion focusing on the Smith Commission
  • Integrated energy investment planning – presentations by SP Energy Networks and Glasgow City Council on integrated planning to facilitate sustainable, smart, resilient cities with data sharing and involvement of communities as key factors

Meeting 2 - 25 September 2014 - Glasgow

Meeting 2 - 25 September 2014 - Glasgow

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Business updates – including the implications of the outcome of the independence referendum, the RIIO-ED1 Ofgem process and SP Energy Networks’ business plan, the fact that energy is currently a highly politicised sector
  • Panel members’ expectations – understanding the needs of panel members to deliver an optimal programme of meetings
  • Social obligations – an explanation of the Social Obligations Working Group, informing the development and delivery of our 2015-2023 RIIO-ED1 business plan; mapping data in relation to vulnerability, measuring effectiveness and working through partners
  • Communications – discussion of paper circulated including traditional advertising and leaflets as well as social media for communicating with the public as well as issues and ideas about communicating with suppliers and potential suppliers
  • Winter preparation and resilience – focussing on communication during an incident, resilience and engaging citizens
  • Economic scoping and opportunities – a paper was circulated and the following discussion focussed on jobs and training, supply chain, innovation, connections, community energy generation and the involvement of small to medium enterprises.

Meeting 1 - 18th June 2014 - Glasgow

Meeting 1 - 18th June 2014 - Glasgow

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • SP Energy Networks’ operations – an explanation for stakeholders of SP Energy Networks’ distribution and transmission businesses and our position within the Scottish Power Group
  • Update on current business – including our focus on efficiency savings, efforts to reduce power cuts and long term interest in areas such as smart grids and electric vehicles
  • Severe weather response – a focus on resilience and work plans before, during and after severe weather events
  • Connecting to the network – a briefing and following discussion about connections for community renewables projects
  • Social issues - an update on work done to date and an opportunity for dialogue about working in partnership with existing social networks
  • Terms of reference & issues for discussion by the Stakeholder Panel – to agree plans for how the Panels will function and to prioritise the issues it will focus on.  Resilience issues, social obligations, communications and identifying economic development opportunities were highlighted as issues to take forward for the next two meetings

Workshop - 16th January 2014

Workshop - 16th January 2014

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • An introduction to SP Energy Networks and its business obligations
  • The company’s current approach to stakeholder engagement and aspirations for developing engagement channels in the future
  • Social obligations – SP Energy Networks’ goals, challenges and the setting up of a dedicated social obligations stakeholder working group
  • The connections business – how it works, its achievements to date and the setting up of a dedicated connections stakeholder working group

 

England and Wales Distribution Panel

Meeting 7 - 3 February 2016 - Liverpool

Meeting 7 - 3 February 2016 - Liverpool

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • SP Energy Networks in Liverpool – including an overview of the history of the company’s operations in Liverpool, a tour of the Grid Supply Point at Lister Drive and a presentation of the plans for its replacement.
  • Business updates – including recent safety activities, a recent improvement in customer satisfaction results, recent extreme weather events and how the company has protected vulnerable customers during these events, and the news that north Wales will soon become a net exporter of electricity at peak hours.
  • Sustainability – a broad deliberative discussion on what a sustainable power distribution company of the future looks like and how SP Energy Networks can begin to take incremental steps to achieve this goal.
  • Local economic impact - looking at the company’s current approach to improving its impact on local deprived communities and discussing ideas for improving this, including developing skills, working with young people, improving the company’s reputation as an employer and providing more tailored and supportive recruitment channels.

Meeting 6 - 30 September 2015 - Wrexham

Meeting 6 - 30 September 2015 - Wrexham

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Welcoming new members – new members were given an introduction to the work of SP Energy Networks and how it is regulated, particularly in relation to the Manweb licence area.
  • Business updates – including a recent safety incident and the company response, the newly launched Ofgem consultation on feed-in tariffs and the SP Energy Networks Trusted Partner Network which is in development.
  • Smart meters programme – the discussions covered the company’s stakeholder engagement activities around this initiative, the appropriate positioning and public messaging to come from DNOs, the management of accurate information about the benefits smart meters will bring, and ideas for better ways to engage with the 127 energy retailers who are responsible for the roll out.
  • Community energy schemes – covering the company’s approach to community energy schemes and the current spread of distributed generation for the Manweb license area. The group looked at the constraints on the network and how SP Energy Networks can better support communities who wish to connect.

Meeting 5 - 21 July 2015 - Ellesmere Port

Meeting 5 - 21 July 2015 - Ellesmere Port

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Energy and Innovation Centre – an introduction to the centre and the work that it does, how they build opportunities for collaboration and projects that SP Energy Networks are involved in
  • Business updates – including recent safety activities, the launch of new regional stakeholder engagement ‘district days’ and feedback from Ofgem’s recent stakeholder engagement award panel
  • Fuel Poverty – hearing experiences from panel member Viridis (Home Energy Savings Partnership in Liverpool), details of our approach to identifying and meeting our social obligations, and the potential opportunities for a more joined up approach to tackling fuel poverty
  • Jobs and Skills – addressing the challenges of recruiting and retaining high quality graduates and apprentices in the Manweb region, experiences from other sectors and ideas for raising awareness of SP Energy Networks as an attractive employer

Meeting 4 - 16 April 2015 - Chester

Meeting 4 - 16 April 2015 - Chester

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Recent Achievements – updates on recent achievements within the Manweb area, for example connection of the new port at Seaforth, Liverpool2
  • Communications and Social Obligations – updates, including the translation of the website into Welsh and working with panel members Viridis to develop a social value calculator
  • RIIO-ED1 Business plan for Manweb – including detailed discussion to determine the areas we should prioritise for continued investment and where we can reduce spending
  • Innovation – looking at SP Energy Networks’ approach to future proofing the network and identifying opportunities for us to collaborate with the business community and small to medium enterprises to stimulate innovation

Meeting 3 - 20 January 2015 - Llandudno

Meeting 3 - 20 January 2015 - Llandudno

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Organisational restructure – introducing the new Director for Manweb and all the new District General Managers
  • Business plan for Manweb – Ofgem’s final determination of the 2015-23 RIIO-ED1 business plans and the challenge for the Manweb license area in managing the shortfall in funding; stakeholder prioritisation of resources
  • Communications – introduction of severe weather warnings to key stakeholders, plans for website translation into Welsh, and marketing and advertising to build customer awareness

Meeting 2 - 16 October 2014 - Hoylake

Meeting 2 - 16 October 2014 - Hoylake

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Communications and Social Obligations – updates from the social issues working group and the communications task force. Members discussed a potential partnership between SP Energy Networks and panel member Viridis on social investment calculators
  • Member survey – discussing the outputs from a recent baseline survey of panel members to ensure that their aspirations for the panel can be met
  • Resilience – including preparation for winter, managing data in order to protect vulnerable customers, control room operations and rota disconnections
  • Economic Impact – presentations and discussions covering the experiences of Liverpool City Council and Energy Island Anglesey in working with SP Energy Networks to facilitate economic growth and methods for future proofing, smarter networks and social return on investment

Meeting 1 - 17 July 2014 - Chester

Meeting 1 - 17 July 2014 - Chester

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • Introduction to SP Energy Networks – including an overview of the role,  structure, responsibilities and regulation of the company
  • Business update – including the potential impacts of the Scottish referendum and recent changes within Ofgem
  • Connections – including the development of Quote+ and detailed heat maps
  • Communications and Social Obligations – updates and discussions covering the unique populations of North Wales, the Priority Services Register and data sharing challenges
  • Terms of reference & issues for discussion by the Stakeholder Panel – to agree plans for how the Panels will function and to prioritise the issues it will focus on. Facilitating economic development and emergency preparedness were highlighted as issues to take forward for the next two meetings

Workshop - 4 April 2014 - Liverpool

Workshop - 4 April 2014 - Liverpool

During this meeting, we discussed:

  • An introduction to SP Energy Networks and its business obligations
  • The company’s current approach to stakeholder engagement and aspirations for developing a dedicated strategic stakeholder panel for the Manweb license area
  • An identification and prioritisation of the issues that stakeholders would like to discuss at panel meetings, including how SP Energy Networks can support local economic growth, opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders, improving resilience forums, tackling fuel poverty and communicating with customers

 

Transmission Strategic Stakeholder Workshop

Workshop - 30 March 2016 - Glasgow

Workshop - 30 March 2016 - Glasgow

During this meeting we discussed:

  • Company Overview & Update – including the Transmission investment plan and strategic projects.
  • Progress Overview covering key elements of RIIO-T1, key incentives, innovation and key challenges. Discussions covered economic impacts, supply chain demand cycle, reliability of the network and environmental impacts.
  • Introduction of Enhanced System Operator Role for National Grid – scope, potential impact and the Networks Options Assessment (NOA) process.
  • Security of Supply – this discussion considered transmission security standards, weather related emergencies, system related emergencies resilience and ‘Black Start’. 
  • Land and planning – including consideration of stakeholders, communities and grantors, looking at how the new enhanced System Operator role might affect engagement and considering pylon design.
  • How engagement has shaped the work of SP Transmission in relation to its business plan, ongoing deliverability and cornerstones such as safety, sustainability and innovation. Finally the group discussed useful topics for future engagement.

 

If you would like further information on any of our panel meetings, please contact stakeholderengagement@spenergynetworks.co.uk.