It’s your opportunity to vote!

Vote for the appointment of an Industry (Networks) Non-Executive Director and the re-appointment of RECCo Policy, Regulation and Net-Zero Non-Executive Director.

Background

In accordance with Clauses 5.6-5.9 of the Retail Energy Code (REC), we are notifying all REC Parties that the Nominations Committee met on 8th June 2023 and has recommended that Isabelle Haigh is appointed to the role of Industry (Networks) Non-Executive Director (NED) on the RECCo Board for an initial period of 3 years starting 1st August 2023.  The Committee also recommended that Rosa Stewart be re-appointed as the RECCo Policy, Regulation and Net-Zero NED for a further 2-year term from 1st October 2023.

Under Clause 5.9(b), a vote will be held amongst REC parties within three months of the Nomination Committee’s recommendation decision to determine these appointments.

Context

The REC has encouraged a new approach to Code Governance, and an important part of this is an independent RECCo Board made up of NEDs who provide knowledge, experience, and advice in support of the REC mission:

“The Retail Energy Code will facilitate the efficient and effective running of the retail energy market, including its systems and processes. It will promote innovation, competition, and positive customer outcomes”.

The NEDs act as the Board’s first line of accountability, appraising performance, challenging approaches and judgements, and scrutinising delivery. They support and guide the Executive Team and act as a conduit for information between the Executive and the Board in their specialist areas.

In this Consultation, Parties are asked for approval of two Recommendations by the RECCo Nominations Committee:

  1. The appointment of Isabelle Haigh in the role of Industry (Networks) NED; and,
  2. The re-appointment of Rosa Stewart in the role of Policy Regulation and Net-Zero NED

On the recommendation to appoint Isabelle Haigh, RECCo Industry (Networks) NED

It was always envisaged and agreed with Ofgem that there would be two industry NEDs on the Board. One would focus on supplier issues, and the second on network issues; both would have recent experience working in our industry and a good understanding of the challenges facing Parties to the Code. Paul Hallas was appointed to the supplier NED role on 1st March 2022, and the proposal is that Isabelle Haigh be appointed to the Networks NED role from 1st August 2023 for a period of three years in the first instance.

On the appointments process

As with all previous NED appointments, a thorough executive search was conducted. The Chair of the Nominations Committee provided a detailed brief on the role to a specialist provider who, following comprehensive market research and bilateral discussions, presented a list of candidates to the RECCo Nominations Committee.

The Nominations Committee, supported by Tracey Pitcher, the Special Advisor to the Board on Network issues, met to agree on a shortlist of candidates for interview. Four candidates were selected, and the first interviews were held on the 9th of May. Two candidates stood out, albeit with slightly different attributes, and they were asked to attend a second interview on the 8th of June when it was possible to explore their views and ideas on different aspects of the role. The quality of the candidates made this a difficult decision but ultimately; the Committee decided that Isabelle Haigh was the right person for the role.

About Isabelle Haigh

Isabelle is a highly experienced energy executive with over 30 years in the industry working within Gas and Electricity Transmission for National Grid. She has extensive experience in transmission businesses and an in-depth understanding of the wider industry; she has worked with market participants to understand their challenges and what is required to make the whole industry complexity more accessible.

The Committee were impressed with Isabelle’s knowledge of the sector and her insights into how RECCo should position itself with respect to networks going forward to meet the needs of the industry and its customers; she has an excellent industry network to draw on. She has considerable experience working at the Board level, has a strategic outlook, is collegiate in approach, and has all the attributes needed to advise and support the Board and Executive team as needed.

Isabelle is Chair of Physics Partners, a small charity providing hands-on training and support for physics teachers and science technicians.

About Rosa Stewart, RECCo Board Policy, Regulation and Net-Zero NED

Rosa Stewart was appointed Policy, Regulation and Net-Zero NED on 1st October 2021 for an initial two years; that period is now almost complete. The Nominations Committee, and the Board, unanimously agreed to ask Rosa to serve for a second 2-year term.

Rosa has over 15 years of experience in the energy sector, including strategy, business development, policy, consulting, and professional services. She has a strong grounding in the retail energy sector, having worked at OVO and as Head of Energy Security Strategy with the government; she has also worked on the Green Deal, focusing on consumer-related complaints.

She has a range of experiences in the retail energy market and decarbonisation, having developed policies under the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and advised Ministers on the net-zero target, carbon budgets, and growing the UK’s low carbon economy. Rosa has a good understanding of the Retail Energy Code and recognises its function and potential to promote a competitive market and make an impactful contribution to Net-Zero.

Rosa is a lawyer by professional training and worked in the Energy Infrastructure Practice of Clifford Chance, covering a range of regulatory and corporate issues. She has a strong network of contacts across organisations in all parts of the energy sector.

Dr Chris Anastasi, Chair of RECCo and Nominations Committee

I am delighted the Nominations Committee has invited Isabelle Haigh to join the RECCo Board and has asked Rosa to continue serving on the Board for a further two years.

We have been extremely fortunate to have Tracey Pitcher helping the Board and the Executive on network issues since RECCo was formed, first as Designate Director and then as Special Advisor. In Isabelle Haigh, we have an excellent person to fill that industry role on the Board going forward.   

Rosa has been an excellent NED for RECCo, providing considerable advice and support to the Board and the Executive Team as the organisation and its remit has evolved. She has supported our efforts in the Policy, Regulation and Net-Zero arena very well and provided thought leadership to establish our ambition and strategy. In addition to her specialist area, Rosa brings wider experience to the organisation and serves on our Board’s standing committees.

It is important that there is continuity as the organisation evolves over the next few years, and the appointment of Isabelle and the re-appointments of Rosa for a second term will help provide this.  I am pleased to recommend them to you.

Vote now

You can vote using the following link. Voting is undertaken in accordance with the REC on a simple majority basis of all REC parties and will close at 5 pm on the 14th of July 2023.

The results of the vote will subsequently be communicated to all REC parties.

 

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