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We've established our expert RIIO-ED2 Customer Engagement Group


Eight diverse and highly-experienced industry experts have been appointed to our RIIO-ED2 Customer Engagement Group (CEG).

Following an extensive recruitment process led by the Group’s Chair, John Howard, the CEG will meet monthly, working alongside our senior managers and directors to scrutinise the development of our next business plan.

The RIIO-ED2 business plan will be submitted to Ofgem for approval at the end of 2021, setting out the investment required to help communities achieve a zero carbon future.

Before then, we’re embarking on an ambitious and extensive stakeholder engagement and consumer research programme spanning our two licence areas, that will underpin every aspect of our proposals.

The CEG met for the first time in January 2020, where members were introduced to key individuals of the RIIO-ED2 project team as well as our CEO and Director of Network Planning and Regulation, before being given an overview of our business, our customers, regulatory framework and external environment.

John Howard, Chair of SP Energy Networks CEG, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to assemble such an impressive group of experts to take on this important work. The business plan will be an extensive, technical and complex document requiring sufficient expertise to scrutinise it properly and I am delighted to have been able to attract members with a wealth of experience in the energy industry and beyond.

“Although the group has been newly established, I’ve been struck by the enthusiasm and rigour demonstrated by the group thus far and relish the opportunity to work constructively with both the group, SP Energy Networks and the energy regulator Ofgem, over the coming months. This will help ensure the company’s business plan is underpinned by the needs and expectations of its consumers and stakeholders.”

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: “John has managed to assemble a diverse and highly-skilled CEG which I believe will serve our customers and stakeholders very well in challenging our proposals for the RIIO-ED2 period from 2023 – 2028.

“We have a long track record of engaging with stakeholders on the biggest strategic issues facing the company and we’re fully committed to working transparently and collaboratively with the CEG as we engage on and then develop the plans that will ultimately help our communities transition to the zero-carbon economy.”

Our CEG consists of the following individuals:

Andy Billcliff

A former Director of UK Hydropower at RWE Innogy, Andy brings over 40 years’ experience in power plant development, construction and operation.

Chris Clark

Managing Director of one of the UK’s largest commercial solar contracting business and Chair of the Solar Trade Association, Scotland.

Matthew Cole

Previously npower’s head of vulnerable customers, Matthew is now an independent consultant working in and around the energy industry to help companies achieve positive outcomes for customers in vulnerable circumstances.

Sam Ghibaldan

Considerable experience in strategy, government, consumer advocacy and utilities regulation and is currently Director, Customer Forum at the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Dr Matthew Hannon

Works as Director of Research and Senior Lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, within the University of Strathclyde’s Business School, specialising in low-carbon energy technology and business model innovation.

Teresa Perchard

More than 30 years’ experience of consumer affairs policy and advocacy in a number of markets, including as board member of the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland and Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice.

Benny Talbot

Specialising in local supply, energy flexibility and community engagement, Benny is Innovation Manager for Community Energy Scotland

Professor Janette Webb

Edinburgh University Professor of Sociology, Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, and member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Energy Scientific Advisory Committee.

Notes to Editors

SP Energy Networks:

  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. We have 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.
  • SPEN also operates the Transmission Network in North Wales. They take electricity generated from power stations, windfarms and various other utilities and transport it through their vast transmission network, consisting of over 4000 kilometres of overhead and 320 kilometres of underground lines. They have 129 transmission substations in their network that help us to manage extra high voltage electricity supplies.
  • From 2015 to 2023 SP Energy Networks plans to invest approximately £5 billion into the electricity network. To keep power supplies on, the company currently manages over 110,000km of power cables and 30,000 substations across their network area.


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