SSEN appoints Trisha McAuley OBE as Chair of its Inclusive Service Panels

Headshot of Trisha McAuley OBE, new Independent Chair of SSEN's Inclusive Service Panels

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has appointed Trisha McAuley OBE as the Independent Chair of its Inclusive Service Panels.

Trisha has over 20 years’ experience as a successful senior leader in consumer policy with a track record of high level, impactful and influential stakeholder engagement across a range of sectors, including the energy industry.

SSEN is responsible for the maintenance, operation and development of the electricity distribution networks across the north of Scotland and central southern England. Its Inclusive Service Panels help inform, influence and challenge decision making, with a specific focus on the provision of inclusive and accessible services to benefit and support over 3.8 million customers.

In her role, Trisha will lead fellow members of the external Inclusive Service Panel – a group of experts with a working knowledge of issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion – alongside an internal group of representatives from across SSEN’s business. The panels were formed in 2017 to challenge thinking, provide innovative suggestions and practical ideas to further improve the inclusive nature of the services offered to SSEN’s customers.

Commenting on her appointment, Trisha said:

“SSEN provides an essential service that everyone relies on. They can only do this properly if they understand that their customers are not a homogenous group but real households and individuals with a range of needs and priorities. A good business will listen and understand these needs and priorities and embed them across the business so that delivering for all customers in the right way becomes business as usual.

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed as the Independent Chair for SSEN’s Inclusive Service Panels. I really look forward to working with the Panel Members and with SSEN to make a real difference for customers across the board and to ensure that SSEN’s service is truly and sustainably inclusive in practice.”

Lyndsey Stainton, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at SSEN, added:

“We’re delighted to welcome Trisha as Chair of our Inclusive Service Panels as we enter a key period in our customer and stakeholder engagement programme before submitting our business plan for the RIIO-ED2 price control next year. Trisha succeeds Richard Shakespeare who has successfully driven real change to directly benefit our customers since the panels were formed three years ago.

“Trisha brings extensive, cross-sector experience as a Non-Executive Director and Independent Chair with direct experience in the electricity industry. Her guidance and challenge will be invaluable as we seek to ensure our services are inclusive, accessible to all, and continue to meet the changing needs of the customers and communities we serve, both now and in the future.”

SSEN’s panels have directly contributed to improving accessibility for its customers as SSEN became the first UK Distribution Network Operator to introduce Easy Read as a communication format. The panels also influenced the organisation to:

  • Introduce a website accessibility tool
  • Enable customer service and power cut reporting via a British Sign Language video link
  • Add subtitles on videos
  • Inform SSEN’s approach to fuel poverty and energy efficiency
  • Review its storm processes and welfare provisions to ensure customers are cared for and supported during power cuts and emergencies

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

Read more articles by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks