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Maxine Frerk to Chair new Energy Networks Association stakeholder engagement group

09 February 2022


Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Open Networks programme has launched a new independently chaired stakeholder engagement group chaired by former Ofgem executive and regulation expert Maxine Frerk.

The new group, titled a Challenge Group, will provide greater engagement opportunities for stakeholders, a more formal challenge function on behalf of the wider industry and a closer view of the industry body’s world-leading Open Networks programme.

Announced last year, the new Challenge Group is the latest phase in giving stakeholders a bigger role in supporting the programme’s delivery of Net Zero Networks and putting into practice principles of transparency and accountability.

Commencing at the end of February, the group consists of more than 20 non-network representatives from across the industry – including flexibility providers, local community representatives, academics and consumer support groups – who will provide input and expert challenge. The list of representatives is available on ENA’s website.

Maxine Frerk, Chair of Open Networks Challenge Group said:

“I’m really pleased to be the Independent Chair of this new Challenge Group. I see the work of Open Networks as key to delivering the Net Zero energy transition and stakeholder input as vital to the success of the programme.”

Farina Farrier, Head of Open Networks at Energy Networks Association said:

“Making sure that stakeholders’ voices are heard is more important than ever, and the Challenge Group will help strengthen our programme direction, provide independent oversight and enable us to work more closely with industry to shape the programme and its outcomes.

“Maxine brings with her a wealth of experience, and a really strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in getting to a Net Zero energy system, and I’m delighted that she’s agreed to Chair our new Challenge Group.”

Since ENA established the programme five years ago, stakeholder engagement has been at its heart and has been invaluable in shaping the direction of its outcomes. To further help guide its work, a quarterly Dissemination Forum is being launched in March and anyone with an interest in learning more about the programme’s priorities and upcoming deliverables is encouraged to join by signing up via ENA’s online form.

Having two groups will support better participation and collaboration as well as allowing stakeholders to choose their level of involvement with the programme.

Press contacts for journalists

Emily Jones

Communications Lead, Open Networks

+44 (0)20 4599 7681

ENA Press Office


Notes to editor

  • The Challenge Group will meet bi-monthly from February, and the full list representatives is available on ENA’s website.
  • The Dissemination Forum will cover all areas of work across the programme and run quarterly from March 2022. ENA welcomes all interested parties to join this forum and stakeholders can sign up via its online form. The latest list of Dissemination Forum participants is available on ENA’s website.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.

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