It is with enormous sadness that we report that Gill Owen has died. Gill chaired the former Public Utilities Access Forum (ESAN’s predecessor) for a number of years and she contributed greatly to PUAF’s work and development. Her expertise and knowledge in consumer policy and regulation, particularly on energy efficiency and fuel poverty, will be greatly missed. Above all, those of us who worked with Gill will remember her friendship, warmth and humour.
Gill’s husband, David Green, has asked that, instead of flowers, people may wish to consider donations in Gill’s memory to Macmillan at: www.macmillan.org.uk/donate.
ESAN will hold a one day conference on Wednesday 2 November 2016 focusing on the consumer voice in the regulation of essential services. The event will be held at the BT Tower in central London. All those with an interest in consumer engagement are encouraged to attend this unmissable event. To register your interest please contact email@example.com.
Roger Darlington writes: “Linda Lennard has now stepped down as Chair of ESAN and, as her successor, I would like to thank her for all the hard work and wise guidance that she has contributed to the organisation over the last three years. Linda managed the transition from PUAF to ESAN with a revised remit and expanded membership and she skilfully negotiated the acceptance of ESAN as a registered charity.
I am pleased to welcome Paul Sahota as our new Treasurer/Trustee. Paul is a non-executive director at SATRO, a charitable organisation promoting science, technology and maths in schools and colleges. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and Member of the Institute of Risk Management.
I would like to thank our former Treasurer, Neil Ritchie and former Vice Chair, Claire Milne for all their hard work for ESAN and PUAF before that. Neil was our Treasurer for several years and before that was a very valued Secretary. I have worked with Claire over many years in many organisations and I know that she never gives less than real commitment and expertise I am delighted that both Neil and Claire will continue to be part of the ESAN network.”
Ofgem is to begin a new process of horizon scanning. It wants to better understand what is driving system change, the likely impacts on consumers and the implications for regulation. This information will help it set priorities for the evolution of regulatory arrangements. Ofgem has issued an open letter, explaining how to get involved, asking stakeholders to register their interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK Regulators’ Network has today launched an advisory leaflet to help ensure vulnerable consumers get the help they need to access essential services.
Produced through a collaborative effort between Ofgem, Ofcom, Ofwat, the ORR and the CAA, the leaflet highlights a range of free support services offered by utility, telecommunications and public transport providers.
The UKRN website gives details of how to get braille, audio and large print versions of the leaflet.
Consumer groups should take a look at chapter 7 of Ofwat’s Water 2020 consultation – which focuses on customer engagement. This section sets out how Customer Challenge Groups should contribute to the PR19 price setting process. Submissions should be sent to Ofwat by 10 February 2016.
On 17 December 2015, Ofgem published its final proposals for the Priority Services Register, considered integral to its consumer vulnerability strategy. The aim is to ensure that existing services relating to safety, access and communication in the energy market meet the needs of consumers in vulnerable situations.