Sustainability First Blog

Maxine Frerk has wide regulatory experience including 15 years in Ofgem in senior roles. Most recently she was a member of Ofgem's executive board responsible for all aspects of regulation of the distribution networks. She has also led on consumer policy at Ofgem and has significant experience on smart metering. This included two years in DECC as Deputy Programme Director where she led, among other things, on development of the smart meter Data Access and Privacy Framework.
Sharon is a champion of consumer concerns in energy and water. Sharon was elected to the Council of Which? in January 2015 and was formerly a long-standing board member of Consumer Futures and its predecessor bodies (Consumer Focus and energywatch). She is a member of the UK Regulators Network Expert Panel, a board member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of Ofgem's Consumer Progress Panel that has been set up to provide advice on the implementation of the CMA energy market investigation remedies. A qualified accountant, Sharon began her career working on value for money studies in the privatisation and regulation team at the National Audit Office. Until 2016, Sharon was a Trustee of the new workplace pension provider NEST where she chaired the Risk Committee, and until March 2017 a lay member of the Standards Committee of the House of Commons. For the last six years, Sharon was a member of Ofgem’s panel to assess the network innovation competitions, plus a member of the Ofgem ‘Consumer Challenge Group’ (ensuring that the consumer interest is represented in setting prices for monopoly energy businesses). She was a member of Ofwat’s Customer Advisory Panel for the 2014 water price review and the previous Ofwat Future Regulation Advisory Panel. Previous roles also include chair of a Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Judith Ward has worked with Sustainability First as an associate since 2005. She was director of Sustainability First for five years (2012 - 2017). Judith is an energy policy professional with long-standing practical experience of both the utility and consumer worlds. Through Sustainability First, Judith has developed new thinking on policies and regulatory approaches for the GB energy and electricity demand-sides as well as being closely involved with New-Pin and other major Sustainability First projects. She has published extensively. Her long-term career was with National Grid (1990-2004), where her last role was a six-year period as Group Head of Public Affairs. In her early career, Judith worked in policy roles with the House of Commons Environment Select Committee and the national Electricity Consumers’ Council. Judith has a master’s degree in Energy Resources Management. She was a part-time adviser to the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy from 2005 to 2012 and was also a long-standing trustee of the Institute for European Environment Policy. Judith is an Honorary Fellow of the Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter, was a member of the DECC/Ofgem Smart Grids Forum (2011-2016) and now a member of the BEIS / Ofgem Smart Systems Forum.
Zoe Mcleod is a consumer policy and regulatory expert with a particular focus on energy, water, innovation and consumer vulnerability issues. She is the Chair of the South East Water Customer Challenge Group and is a member of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) Board. She is a Director of a new social enterprise called OnTheRecord, whose aim is to make businesses better so as to save customers time and money. OnTheRecord has a strong focus on improving access to services for customers with disabilities. She has more than 10 years’ experience as a consumer champion, including working for Citizens Advice (and its predecessor bodies Consumer Focus and Consumer Futures), Ofgem, the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, and Friends of the Earth. She has been a member of Ofwat’s Expert Advisory Panel supporting the Water 2020 programme , a non-executive Director representing consumer interests for Smart Energy GB, the organisation which leads the national smart meter rollout campaign, a representative on the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group for England (FPAG), a member of DECC's Consumer Vulnerability Task Force and Ofgem's Consumer Vulnerability Group, a consumer representative on the Smart Metering Ministerial Steering Group and a number of smart metering expert groups, including DECC's Consumer Advisory Group and those relating to consumer engagement, benefits realisation and data access and privacy, and a consumer representative on the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICOP) panel and Chair of the Consumer Panel for the Smart Homes and Buildings Association.
Jon was, until March 2014, Head of Sustainability with Northern Powergrid (the electricity distribution company for the North East and Yorkshire) and before that Head of Government Relations since 2000. Jon’s role included regional and national stakeholder management on climate change and low carbon activities to assist the company in its understanding of the requirements of electricity generators and customers. He was a long-standing member of the CBI’s energy policy committee and the CBI’s northeast regional council. Earlier in his career, Jon spent 8 years with BNFL as Head of Government Relations, and almost twenty years with the civil service at a senior level, including in the Department of Energy, HM Treasury and the DTI. He has a first class degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in general relativity. He is a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Newcastle and a Fellow of the Energy Institute.