We are becoming a separate company

In April 2019, the Electricity System Operator is becoming a separate company within the National Grid Group. Find out more about what this change will mean.

ESO prepares for first legally separate price control

Charlotte Morgan, the new independent Chair of the Electricity System Operator RIIO2 Stakeholder Group (ERSG), shares her thoughts on the journey ahead.

I am really excited to Chair and be part of the ERSG, helping the Electricity System Operator (ESO) consider stakeholder views when preparing for its first legally separate price control. We have great representation on the group and I’m really looking forward to working with them over the coming months.

I wanted to Chair this group as I believe the ERSG has such an important role to play in delivering the RIIO2 framework and, ultimately, driving value for end consumers.

Our role as a group is to be independent and provide a robust challenge to the ESO’s business plans. In terms of the group itself, we have a fantastic range of representation from across the industry, which I feel will really enable us to provide the challenge from many angles. Through this challenge, I hope that this will enable the ESO to have a stronger plan that ensures the organisation is delivering for GB plc.

I believe the ERSG has such an important role to play in delivering the RIIO2 framework and, ultimately, driving value for end customers.

- Charlotte Morgan, ERSG Independent Chair

Over the course of the next 18 months, I hope the group will step up to its role in giving weight to the voices of customers and users of the network. I think we will know if we have achieved this at the end of the process through the look and feel of the proposed RIIO2 business plan.

For me the key questions for the group to consider are:

  • Are the company’s engagement plans sufficiently rigorous and wide-ranging?
  • Does the company understand the changes in market and are its business plans sufficiently robust to address the pace of change? Has it identified the right performance levels and criteria to assess this against?
  • How will the company be able to manage uncertainty and risks around future requirements? Has it challenged itself to think about innovation and about non-network based solutions?
  • How does the company balance competing interests and perspectives to reach the right answer for GB?
  • Has the company managed to achieve real independence, insofar as independence runs through everything that it does, and does it have sufficient resource to maintain independence?

In terms of my background, I’m currently a Partner at Linklaters law firm – but I’m Chairing this group in a personal capacity. My work as a lawyer in the energy industry has given me a breadth of cross-industry understanding, having represented a range of clients such as Transmission Owners, Interconnectors, Generators and Government.

I also have broad-based regulatory experience across the rail and water sectors, and have Chaired a number of taskforces relating to the energy industry; such as the CCUS taskforce. These experiences combined give me a good contextual understanding of the industry and regulatory best practice.

I am really excited to be part of this journey in getting to the heart of all the questions; making sure the ESO plans really do deliver the best possible outcome for both network users and the GB end consumer. I will keep you updated over the coming months about how we are getting on.

Charlotte