What does your current role as Revenue Manager entail?
I’ve been in this role for a couple of years. Our revenue team is responsible for forecasting, calculating and issuing all the transmission network charges.
Each year we handle around £5 billion in payments! We have to make sure the cashflow runs smoothly across the whole industry.
We collect money from transmission network users such as generators and suppliers for us to balance the system and pass on the majority of the payment to the transmission network owners.
We don’t have the issues that many companies do when collecting money. It’s a license obligation for suppliers and generators to pay their charges and we collect over 99% of all the money on time.
Compliance is vital for my team and we have a lot of obligations set out in the license and industry codes. We need to ensure all the charges are calculated correctly and on time.
Part of my work is customer engagement. It’s vital that we regularly speak to stakeholders and customers seeking their feedback and give them a heads up about any changes to the charges to avoid any surprises. Last month we ran a charging forum with over 270 attendees.
Can you tell us about your background and your roles within the ESO?
I joined National Grid in 2005 as a Commercial graduate. I’d studied Business and Management at Bradford University and during my studies I did a year out working for Exxon Mobil. It meant it was a natural fit to go into the energy industry after my degree.
I loved how inclusive the organisation was. I’m originally from China and at the time didn’t have a British passport. It was tough for National Grid to recruit someone outside of the EU with a business degree, but they saw my potential.
I hadn’t planned to stay into the UK long time but it’s such a good place to work. I also met my husband at work!
Prior to my current role I was fortunate enough to work on legal separation and the creation of the ESO.
I made a conscious decision to progress further and looked at what skills I’d need to lead a large team. Revenue is one of the largest teams with 13 colleagues in the UK and eight in India so it was a perfect move for me.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work?
Personally, it’s difficult as I have two children aged 4 and 6. Home schooling is hard. It’s difficult to have that balance to do my job and home school and you learn not to be tough on yourself.
The pandemic has tested our ways of working. In the past we’d work only one or two days at home but we’ve proved we can work virtually all the time if we need to. But I do miss seeing my team face to face.
Our workload has increased a lot due to the pandemic. My team also heavily audited because we deal with such large amounts of money for the whole industry. This is in addition to the BAU work we have to continue with.
Recently some suppliers needed support due to cashflow challenges during the pandemic. We’re supportive of this and have helped those providers who needed payment deferrals.
It’s been difficult for me as normally I’d see my parents at least once a year. They will often come to the UK in the summer to see the kids which obviously hasn’t been possible
I’m hoping things soon return to normal.