Role of the CEG

Looking out for Northern Powergrid’s customers and stakeholders

The Customer Engagement Group (CEG) will play a key role in developing and quality assuring the developmentof Northern Powergrid’s 2023-2028 business plan.

The group independently scrutinises and challenges Northern Powergrid’s business plan, the quality of engagement undertaken to inform it and helps to ensure that customers’ needs and preferences are reflected. It operates in an open and transparent way and will publish a report of its findings.

The CEG also works with the Ofgem Consumer Challenge Group. It provides assurance to Ofgem that Northern Powergrid’s business plan reflects regional interests, understands and addresses customer needs and preferences and is driven by delivering for customers in an evolving and growing low carbon energy landscape.

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Team Members

    • Justin McCracken – Chair

      Justin brings a wealth of experience to the CEG with more than fifteen years’ in a regulatory capacity in national public bodies: the Health and Safety Executive; the Environment Agency; and latterly as a Non-Executive Director of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR – the economic and safety regulator for the rail industry and economic regulator for Highways England).  He has also served as Chief Executive of the Health Protection Agency and as a trustee of a charity, the British Safety Council.

    • Bindi Patel

      Bindi Patel is Head of Customer Experience at Vattenfall Heat UK.  Prior to joining Vattenfall Heat UK in June 2020, she was the Director at Heat Trust – a not-for-profit customer champion for the heat sector network.  During her time at Heat Trust, Bindi led work on new regulatory standards for heat networks, with a focus on customer protection.  With over 12 years’ experience, Bindi has worked on energy efficiency and fuel poverty policy at Energy UK, advised local authorities on climate change and energy strategies, and was Lambeth Council’s lead officer on sustainability and energy efficiency in the built environment.

    • Chris Harris

      Chris is Head of Regulation and Compliance at npower.  His background includes trading, finance and power generation.  Whilst at work he held university posts in sustainable power distribution, energy policy and decision science. Advisory committees include Flexis, Supergen and IGov. He chairs the British Institute of Energy Economics 2020 research conference Energy for a Net Zero Society.  Key relevant skills for Northern Powergrid CEG are markets, regulation and consumers.

    • Filippo Gaddo

      Filippo holds a Master in International Economics, is a Director in Arup’s Advisory Team and has almost twenty years’ professional experience working for Government departments and major consulting firms.  Filippo brings significant business case and investment appraisal, and regulation and market design expertise. Filippo has led numerous network investment projects’ assessments as part of regulated network transactions in the energy and water sectors, for example supporting companies in the acquisition of power, gas and heat distribution companies and water companies. Filippo has also worked with utilities, energy companies and governments in the development, design and assessment of market mechanisms, tariff structure and new commercial / business models in the energy sector, most recently reviewing future role of Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen in a low carbon system.

    • Graham Oakes

      Graham has a PhD in Satellite Image Processing and a background in tech, working with firms such as Cisco, Intel, Skype and Sony.  In 2013, he created Upside Energy, a tech platform for managing flexibility on the grid.  Upside raised £10m of funding and grew to 35 staff by the end of 2018, at which point Graham stood down to focus on enabling people to participate in the Energy Transition.  He now works on local and municipal energy projects across UK and EU.  He is a member of BEIS’ Engineering Standards Review and Ofgem’s Design Advisory Board for Half Hourly Settlement, and has recently joined the board of FlexAssure, the ADE’s code of conduct for demand response aggregators.

    • Henri Murison

      Henri brings his expertise on the importance of electricity infrastructure and the transition to zero carbon in the wider economy to the CEG. Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, he works across the wider infrastructure agenda, education, skills and wider industrial policy to drive the agenda on how to close the North – South divide. He has led work on the role of decarbonisation in driving economic growth, specifically focused on energy sector. Previously, he advised a financial services business on their government and international regulation interest as well as having wider roles in the voluntary sector and as Cabinet Member for Quality of Life at Newcastle City Council.

    • Jenny Saunders

      Jenny Saunders is an independent consultant with over 30 years working in the energy and charity sectors. Previously Chief Executive at National Energy Action, based in the North East but operational across the UK, Jenny is currently Chair of the Customer Engagement Group for NGN and has experience of Ofgem’s enhanced stakeholder engagement process for RIIO2. She is a member of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Committee and sits on the Advisory Group to Innovate UK’s £200m PFER programme. Jenny is a Non-Executive Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions which delivers heating and energy efficiency programmes. She has previously sat on a number of energy industry stakeholder groups including Northern Powergrid’s Social Issues Expert Group.

    • Mike Kay

      Mike worked at Electricity North West for 38 years, the last eight of which he was Engineering and IT Director. He served on the Grid Code Review Panel for over a decade. Since leaving Electricity North West in 2015 he has worked as an independent consultant on a number of projects for the regulated electricity network industries in the UK and internationally. He is a member-elected trustee of the Electricity North West pension fund.

    • Patrick Smart

      Patrick Smart is Energy Networks Director at Renewable Energy Systems, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company. Patrick has worked in various areas of energy regulation for over twenty years. Between 1999 and 2005, Patrick held two senior roles within the OFGEM Networks Division and prior to joining RES in February 2011, he was Head of Commercial and Regulatory Consulting at Senergy Econnect, now part of Lloyds Register. As Energy Networks Director, he is responsible for all things grid relating to the RES onshore renewable energy and energy storage portfolio in UK and Ireland. He also leads the RES internal cost reduction continuous improvement project in relation to onshore wind. Until recently, he has been Chair of the REUK Grid and Systems Group for four years and is also a member of the OFGEM / BEIS Smart Systems Forum.

    • Simon Pringle

      Simon is Managing Director of Project Rome, a consultancy specialising in commercial strategy, campaign and communication. A Visiting Professor at University of Chester, Simon was formerly Head of Sustainability and Innovation at BDO LLP and has a background in Environmental Consulting and Change Management. He was author of the IMechE guide to commercialising clean technology and designed the CBI innovation model for medium sized businesses. Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Green Economy Panel, Simon also sits on British Business Bank Regional Accountability Board for the NPIF.  He was a founding Trustee of the community energy charity Pure Leapfrog and is a member of the Northern Gas Networks CEG. Chair of the children’s STEM skills organisation ‘Solutions for the Planet’, Simon is also a Trustee of an organisation providing alternative educational setting for individuals permanently excluded and/or in the judicial system.


Find out what’s been happening.

  • Jan 2021

    Report on the December Customer Engagement Group Meeting

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  • Dec 2020

    Report on the November Customer Engagement Group Meeting

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  • Nov 2020

    Report on the October Customer Engagement Group Meeting

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  • Oct 2020

    Report on the September Customer Engagement Group Meeting

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  • Oct 2020

    Customer Engagement Group – Interim Report

    Read More
  • Sep 2020

    Report on the August Customer Engagement Group meeting

    Read More

Downloadable Content

Documents & Downloads

Document Search & Filter

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – March 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, March 2021 – focus on Innovation activities and Stakeholder Engagement work.

Updated: 15/04/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – February 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, February 2021 – focus on Strategic Business Plan Choices and Net Zero Scenarios

Updated: 16/03/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Challenge Log

Customer Engagement Group Challenge Log

Updated: 11/03/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – January 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, January 2021 – focus on Stakeholder Engagement and work on estimating costs for the ED2 Business Plan.

Updated: 11/02/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – December 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting December 2020 – focus on Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES) and Innovation.

Updated: 20/01/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group meeting – November 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting November 2020 – focus on Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES) and stakeholder engagement plans.

Updated: 11/12/2020 Download

Customer Engagement Group – Register of Interests

Customer Engagement Group’s Register of Interests.

Updated: 26/11/2020 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – October 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting October 2020 – focus on customer service and vulnerability and workforce resilience.

Updated: 11/11/2020 Download

Customer Engagement Group – Interim Report

CEG Interim Report, providing a public record of the early work of the group.

Updated: 23/10/2020 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – September 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting September 2020 – focus on stakeholder engagement plans, electrical losses and plans for operating the distribution system.

Updated: 02/10/2020 Open Document

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – August 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting August 2020 – focus on Ofgem Sector Specific Methodology, Resilience and Procurement.

Updated: 15/09/2020 Open Document

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – July 2020

Report on CEG monthly meeting July 2020 – focus on Emerging Thinking, and Local Area Energy Plans.

Updated: 31/07/2020 Open Document

Contact Us

Get in touch

If you would like to pose any questions to the CEG or find out more about how it’s helping to ensure Northern Powergrid’s future plans reflect the needs of the customers, stakeholders and the communities it serves, email