Role of the ISG

Looking out for Northern Powergrid’s customers and stakeholders

The Independent Stakeholder Group (ISG) plays a key role in ensuring Northern Powergrid delivers on its commitments made in its 2023-2028 business plan.

The group independently scrutinises and challenges Northern Powergrid’s quality of engagement undertaken to ensure that customers’ needs and preferences are continually being reflected. It operates in an open and transparent way and will publish a report of its findings annually.


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Team Members

    • Chris Murray MBE – Chair

      Chris’s expertise stems from over 45 years of experience in the UK Energy sector where his remits covered Customer and Employee Engagement, Network Operations, Asset Management, Change and Stakeholder Management, Health and Safety, Gas and Electricity Transmission, Gas Distribution, Regulation and Commercial. In addition to being a 3-time CEO Chris has over 25 years of Non-Executive experience and is currently Chairman at Water Resources South East as well as holding Non-Executive Director positions at the Low Carbon Contracts Company and The Electricity Settlements Company. He is also a Trustee Board Member of the MS Society and the Leicestershire Hospice.

    • 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.  Upside was subsequently sold to Octopus Energy, where it now forms the basis for its KrakenFlex platform.  Graham now supports a number of EnergyTech startups and works on local and municipal energy projects across UK and EU.  He was a member of BEIS’ Engineering Standards Review and Ofgem’s Design Advisory Board for Half Hourly Settlement, and is currently a board member of FlexAssure, the ADE’s code of conduct for demand response aggregators.  His book Project Reviews, Assurance and Governance is published by Routledge.

    • Henri Murison

      Henri brings his expertise on the importance of electricity infrastructure and the transition to Net Zero in the wider economy to the ISG. Chief Executive 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 was a member of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Committee from 2016 to 2022 and sat on the Advisory Group from 2018 to March 2023 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 Northern Inclusive Energy Group (former 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 chaired  the Distribution Code Review Panel for over a decade , and was a member of the Grid Code Review Panel for eighteen years. 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.

    • Jo Coleman – OBE

      Jo Coleman has over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry, initially working in the oil and gas sector in Europe, the Middle East and Far East in roles spanning oil and gas field development, national energy planning, economics and business development.  has previously been an Observer to the Board of Shell UK and an independent member of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Board as well as chairing or being a member of numerous academic and sectoral Advisory Boards and Committees. 

      She is currently a Board Member of the British Geological Survey, and member of the EPSRC Supergen High Level Group and an ambassador to both the Clean Energy Ministerial Equality in Energy Initiative and POWERful Women. Executive roles have included Strategy Director at the Energy Technologies Institute and Director of whole Systems Analysis an the Energy Systems Catapult. Jo was awarded an OBE in 2018 for services to the energy sector and is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE.

      Jo is also the Chair of Northern Powergrid’s’ Distribution System Operation (DSO) Review Panel.

    • Melanie Taylor

      Melanie is the Founder of Just Strategy, a northern-based consultancy focussing on place-based, customer-centric net zero transitions. She’s a specialist in designing fair and inclusive sustainability strategy, services and customer journeys; incorporating customer insight and engagement, participatory governance, and customer experience optimisation. She holds non-executive board positions on a range of organisations delivering a just climate transition, including Solutions for the Planet, the Yorkshire Climate Commission and the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub.

      Melanie draws on over 17 years of experience in leading energy and climate change programmes across the public sector and industry. Her career started in Local Government, where she led Climate Change and Energy for West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Subsequently, at KPMG, Melanie supported public sector clients to design and deliver complex and politically sensitive change programmes. Working in the utilities sector, she led stakeholder relations for Northern Gas Networks, and directed pioneering sector projects including the first Green Retail Bond and Customer Experience for Redcar Hydrogen Community.

    • Monica Collings

      Monica Collings, award-winning former Chief Executive of retail energy supply challenger So Energy, played a pivotal role in the merger with ESB Energy in 2021. Before that, she led Vattenfall’s UK retailer, and has enjoyed a diverse career spanning markets such as retail home improvement, property, and automotive. Having transitioned from executive roles, Monica now engages in a pluralistic approach, enjoying a portfolio of non-executive and strategic board advisory roles including Chairing the board at entech, Swarm. Monica is a fervent advocate for gender diversity in the workplace having served as the sole female Chief Executive leading a domestic energy supplier. In 2024, Monica will represent the UK as a delegate at the United Nations’ 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.


Find out what’s been happening.

  • May 2023

    The Customer Engagement Group has published its annual report 2022-23

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  • May 2023

    The Customer Engagement Group has responded to Ofgem’s consultation on frameworks for future systems and network.

    Read More
  • May 2023

    The Customer Engagement Group has responded to Ofgem’s Consultation on the future of local energy institutions and governance

    Read More
  • Nov 2022

    Customer Engagement Group observe Northern Powergrid’s Storm Exercise

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  • Aug 2022

    Customer Engagement Group response to Ofgem’s Consultation on ED2 Draft Determinations

    Read More
  • Jan 2022

    Report of Customer Engagement Group on Northern Powergrid’s business plan

    Read More
  • Dec 2021

    Report on the November Customer Engagement Group Meeting

    Read More
  • Oct 2021

    Report on the September Customer Engagement Group Meeting

    Read More

Downloadable Content

Documents & Downloads

Document Search & Filter

Independent Stakeholder Group – Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the ISG.

Updated: 12/06/2024 Download

Independent Stakeholder Group – Register of Interests

Independent Stakeholder Group’s Register of Interests.

Updated: 12/01/2024 Download

Customer Engagement Group annual report 2022-23

This report covers the work of the independent Northern Powergrid Customer Engagement Group (CEG) from the beginning of 2022 until the end of March 2023.

Updated: 31/05/2023 Download

Report of Customer Engagement Group on Northern Powergrid’s business plan

Report of CEG on Northern Powergrid’s business plan.

Updated: 17/01/2022 Download

Customer Engagement Group meeting – November 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, November 2021 – focus on Northern Powergrid’s continued work on its final Business Plan, Stakeholder Engagement work, and our final report.

Updated: 14/12/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – September 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, September 2021 – focus on Northern Powergrid’s continued work on its final Business Plan, Environmental Emissions, and Stakeholder Engagement work.

Updated: 12/10/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – July 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, July 2021 – focus on draft business plan, Stakeholder Engagement work and Ofgem’s ‘minded to’ decisions on its Access and Forward Looking Charges Review.

Updated: 10/08/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group – Second Interim Report

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

Updated: 03/08/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – June 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, June 2021 – focus on draft business plan and Stakeholder Engagement Work.

Updated: 07/07/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – May 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, May 2021 – focus on draft business plan and Stakeholder Engagement Work.

Updated: 15/06/2021 Download

Customer Engagement Group Meeting – April 2021

Report on CEG monthly meeting, April 2021 – focus on Decarbonisation, Workforce Resilience and Stakeholder Engagement work.

Updated: 19/05/2021 Download

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

Contact Us

Get in touch

If you would like to pose any questions to the ISG 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