SSEN announces new Expert Panel to support stakeholder-led commitments

As part of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) new approach to engagement, the electricity network operator asked its stakeholders to nominate a 10-person Expert Panel to support the realisation of its commitments to the households, businesses and communities it serves. 

The new Expert Panel will provide strategic oversight of new and existing commitments and ensure that each are endorsed by a cross-section of representatives that SSEN serves. This will improve SSEN’s ability to be responsive to stakeholders’ need, and support stakeholder-led improvements in customer service. 

The panel consists of representatives from community energy groups, local authorities, independent distribution network operators and independent connection providers, housing authorities and distributed energy generation owners. 

SSEN is responsible for the safe and secure supply of electricity to 3.8 million households and businesses in the north of Scotland and central southern England. The panel’s make-up reflects the diverse areas and needs that SSEN serves, with five representatives from Scotland and five from England. 

The transition to net zero carbon emissions will bring with it increased demand on the UK’s electricity networks, with the Climate Change Committee forecasting this to double by 2050. SSEN is committed to supporting this transition in a cost-effective, and stakeholder-led manner. The Expert Panel will be critical in ensuring the needs of the different groups that SSEN serves are being considered and managed in this process. 

Andy Huthwaite, SSEN’s Director of Connections said: 

“Our stakeholders told us they wanted a more tailored experience in their engagement with us, and we have acted on their feedback through establishing a new engagement model. The Expert Panel will play a key role in this new model in shaping how we deliver for our customers.”

The Expert Panel was elected by SSEN’s stakeholder engagement groups, ensuring the network operator will benefit from external oversight and independent input. 

Andy continues: “I want to thank each panel member for agreeing to participate on the Expert Panel, their time and guidance will be invaluable as we continue to drive improvements in the connections service we provide.” 

Christine Jordaan, Utilities Manager Persimmonn Homes, one of the ten Expert Panelists said: 

“This SSEN Expert Panel project is one of significant purpose, providing a platform for informed decision making, solutions to enhance productivity. This collaboration supports SSEN to make better decisions and give the stakeholders we represent a strong voice in this process.  

“The greatest business minds know that working together as a collective team is more beneficial than working separately in silos. I am excited to join my fellow expert panelists and work with SSEN at a critical period to secure innovations, and the transition to a network that can accommodate our climate change ambitions.” 

Joining Christine on SSEN’s Expert Panel are:  

  • Stephen Kelso, Cala Homes
  • James Buchan, Local Energy Scotland
  • Paul Kemp, Energy Hub UK
  • Calum Duff, IPT Energised
  • Hugh Taylor, Roadnight Taylor
  • Alistair Roberts, iPower UK
  • Nikki Pillinger, Gridserve
  • Willie Milligan, FES Group
  • David Overman, GTC

The first sitting of the panel will take place in winter 2020/21 and panelists will review and provide feedback on SSEN’s business strategy, its connections commitments and general improvements.