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TO User Group

In preparation for RIIO-T2, SP Energy Networks have recruited an independent Chair, the Right Honourable Charles Hendry, to establish an independent Transmission User Group or “TO User Group”.  The independent TO User Group will provide expert, external challenge and input to SP Energy Networks’ RIIO-T2 Business Plan and has been created to include traditional as well as non-traditional stakeholders, such as transmission customers, academics, industry experts and community representatives. 

Purpose of the TO User Group

Purpose of the TO User Group

  • The purpose of the TO User Group is to provide formal challenge and input to SP Energy Networks' RIIO-2 Transmission Business Plan to ensure the Plan addresses the wants and needs of network users, customers and stakeholders.
  • The User Group meets on a monthly basis to review the various areas of the Business Plan.

  • The User Group can ask questions directly of SP Energy Networks and is also free to bring in external representatives or advisors from other organisations, such as Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Government, to inform their feedback and challenges of the Business Plan.

  • Finally, the User Group will produce an Independent Report which they will submit to Ofgem in 2019.

TO User Group Chair and Members

TO User Group Chair and Members

The User Group membership composition: Charles Hendry - Chair; Julian Leslie - National Grid SO; Martin Kearns - EDF; Andrew Robertson - Head of Operational Technology, SHEPD; Dan Thomas - Grid & Operations Manager,Banks Group; Andrew Robertson - Head of Operational Technology, SHEPD; Amanda Burgauer - Chair, Scottish Rural Action; Rob Cormie - Edinburgh Advisers; Prof. Karen Turner - Director of the Centre for Energy Policy; David Ritchie - Environmental Consultant, AECOM.

Group Members

CHAIR : The Rt Hon Charles Hendry

The former Energy Minister has been appointed as independent Chair of the Transmission User Group for SP Energy Networks. Charles was Conservative Member of Parliament for Wealden from 2001-2015 and was Minister of State for Energy from May 2010 until September 2012. He was previously the Conservative Party’s spokesman on energy issues, from 2005-2010, holding the portfolio for longer than any other spokesman.

On leaving Ministerial office, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed him as his Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, a role he continued until leaving Parliament in 2015. He was subsequently Commissioner of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan on the theme of Future Energy.

Since leaving Ministerial office, he has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh Business School, as President of the British Institute of Energy Economics, and as Patron of the Nuclear Institute.

He works extensively across the energy and trade sectors.  He is a Director of the London Group, where he heads up the company’s search for investment opportunities in emerging energy technologies.

Charles was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he received an Honour's Degree in Business Studies. He is a University Regent and also an Honorary Fellow of the Energy Institute. 

Amanda Burgauer

Amanda Burgauer is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of a consultancy for transformational and cultural change with a record of success in both the private and third sectors. 

She is the Chair of Scottish Rural Action, a non-profit that campaigns on rural issues as the voice of rural communities and is a member of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, the precursor of the new Enterprise Agency, where she is co-lead of the Infrastructure Group. Amanda is also the Treasurer of Wiston Lodge, a charity for children and young people.

Rob Cormie

Over 25 years of commercial experience primarily in the energy & financial services industry as a project financier, corporate finance adviser and board member in the public and private sectors. His experience covers in depth knowledge of the energy & infrastructure industry where he has specialised for the past 20 years and culminated as one of the original leadership team of the Green Investment Bank where he was de facto Chief Operating Officer. He has been a board member of an AIM Listed PLC, company secretary and a partner at KPMG.

He has recently stepped down as the Chief Operating Officer of a disruptive energy technology company (Faraday Grid) based in Edinburgh to focus on a wider portfolio of activities.

Martin Kearns 

Martin Kearns  received a B.Eng. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Strathclyde University, UK in 1990. Since then, he has worked in the UK nuclear industry and is currently the Chief Electrical Engineer in EDF Energy, Nuclear Generation. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET.

Julian Leslie 

Julian has spent 26 years working for National Grid both in the UK and the US businesses. Much of this time has been in the Electricity System Operator (ESO) performing many functions across the ESO. Julian is currently Head of Networks and is responsible for the future development of the GB transmission network, all access and contracts for new and existing connections, ensuring that the network is operable in the short and long term and compiling all of the data and models that underpin these activities.

The key developments in these activities is a move to a whole electricity system approach and identifying ways in which the investment and development of the network delivers the best value to consumers.

Angela Love

Angela Love has over 25 years’ experience of the UK/EU gas and electricity markets. She started her career in Scottish Power, in commercial and financial roles, latterly as UK Strategy and External Affairs Manager for Scottish Power’s non-price regulated businesses - generation, trading, retail and renewables.

Angela has been a consultant for 12 years, advising clients on market arrangements across gas, electricity and water and developing business strategies. Angela past roles include Chairman of the Gas Forum and the Energy Networks Association’s Director of Gas, Communications and European Affairs. She is a Trustee of the Gas Safe Charity and member of Ofgem’s SECV Panel for 2 years.

David Ritchie

David is an Associate Director with AECOM specialising in environmental planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  He has been involved in the power sector since the start of his career supporting a range of projects including generation, transmission and distribution as well as interconnectors through different stages of development. 

This includes feasibility, option appraisal including route and/or site selection, planning, consultation with a wide range of stakeholders as well as the public and construction.  Most recently David has been involved in a number of interconnector projects including links from the UK to Germany, France and Denmark.  

Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson is a Chartered Electrical Engineer who has worked within the Electricity Supply Industry for 28 years.  He has extensive project management and system design experience at all voltages from 11kV to 400kV and HVDC.

Andrew was appointed by SSEN as Head of Operational Technology, with responsibility for the management and development of the industrial control systems which operate the distribution and transmission networks, including the associated telecommunications and hardware.  He was also appointed as Design Authority for the distribution businesses of SSEN.

Dan Thomas

Dan is responsible for Banks Group’s operational portfolio of renewable generation projects and the delivery of new grid connections for projects in development. The present Banks Group operational portfolio totals 84MW of onshore wind generation in Yorkshire and the North of England. With projects in Scotland that are presently in construction this will grow to over 220MW by early 2019.

His responsibility includes Health and Safety management, asset performance and management of grid risks on transmission and distribution connected projects. Dan has worked in the power industry for twenty four years in roles with Alstom, Econnect, EDF Energy Networks and Midlands Electricity. Dan is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and is a member of the Renewable UK Grid and Systems group. Dan lives in Hexham with his family.

Prof. Karen Turner

Karen is Director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde International Public Policy Institute. She has previously held academic posts at in the Economics Departments at Heriot-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde Universities. Karen was one of six ESRC Climate Change Leadership Fellows and her main research interests in modelling the economy-wide impacts of energy and climate policy.

The main focus of her current work is investigating economy-wide rebound effects and macroeconomic impacts of energy efficiency enhancing and/or carbon reduction technologies such as CCS. Karen is Principle Investigator on the EPSRC ‘Working with the [EUED] Centres project titled ‘Energy Saving Innovations and Economy-wide Rebound Effects’

TO User Group Meetings to Date

TO User Group Meetings to Date

In this section you can find information on the TO User Group meetings to give you an oversight of the topics being discussed by the Group each month.  You will also find the TO User Group  "Challenge Log“.  The Challenge Log acts as a record of the formal challenges made to SP Energy Network by the Group and details how the company has responded to these challenges.

This section will be updated throughout the TO User Group review period.

TO User Group Governance & Outputs

TO User Group Governance & Outputs

The purpose of the independent TO User Group  is to provide expert challenge and input on whether SP Energy Networks’ business plan addresses customers’ and stakeholders’ wants and needs. Alongside other aspects of Ofgem’s enhanced engagement, the Group will provide an additional level of scrutiny for SPEN’s RIIO-2 planning.

In this section you can find published information from the regulator, Ofgem, around the responsibilities and required outputs from the TO User Group.

We will also publish the TO User Group report here in 2019.