About New-Pin

Since 2015 Sustainability First has been running the ground breaking New Energy and Water Public Interest Network (‘New-Pin’) project. The New-Pin Network has brought together stakeholders with an active and legitimate interest in energy and water to build a stronger voice for the long-term public interest in the sectors.

This work was started before the current debate about nationalization had gathered steam. Our focus has been on long-term public interest outcomes and what needs to be done to deliver these; not ownership structures.

The New-Pin Network has included public interest groups – consumer, environmental and civil society – together with representatives from government, regulators, energy and water companies and academia.

Objectives

New-Pin was set up to help tackle the tension that can exist between short and long-term interests in the energy and water sectors and to develop a more democratic, inclusive and coherent approach to change.

Looking to the long-term: hearing the public interest voice in energy and water - Eight Agendas for Change

The final New-Pin Report Looking to the long-term: hearing the public interest voice in energy and water - Eight Agendas for Change can now be downloaded here. The Report brings together the work from the project over the last three years. It is based on eleven detailed project papers, all of which are also in the publications section of the website.

The report is structured around ‘Eight agendas for change’ that companies, regulators, government and other actors can use to help get a better focus on the long-term public interest in their work.

It also contains ‘Levers for change’ – practical and accessible sets of principles, decision making guides and info-graphics – that can be used to help frame and maintain focus on public interest outcomes as the energy and water sectors go through transition.

The Agendas for change and Levers for change have been rigorously road-tested by Network members as part of New-Pin’s deliberative engagement process.

Impact of New-Pin

Feedback from New-Pin members has been that the Network has:

  • built contacts across sectors, and for companies, to also grow their networks with public interest groups, sharing experience and learning more widely;
  • created a positive environment to share challenges and opportunities;
  • changed approaches to stakeholder engagement on affordability;
  • increased focus on cross-sector approaches to vulnerability;
  • developed the approach to identifying/creating outcomes in partnership; and
  • reinforced thinking on innovation.

Members have found our work on how effective boards are in meeting the needs of current customers, future consumers and wider stakeholders particularly helpful and several are currently using our board effectiveness check-list to review their governance approaches.

Next steps

Sustainability First will be building on the findings of New-Pin in its next major project – Project Compact. This project will help energy and water companies better manage reputational, political and regulatory risk in respect to fairness and the environment.

We will also be holding a high-level round table on governance and the public interest in the coming months.