Northern Powergrid, the distribution network operator for the North-East, Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire, has appointed Justin McCracken as the chairman of its new Customer Engagement Group.

Justin will act as an independent chairman to the group that will challenge the operator’s business plans for the period as it facilitates decarbonisation in the production and increased use of electricity. The energy system is undergoing a fundamental transformation and Northern Powergrid says it is at the heart of these changes.

The group will help ensure that Northern Powergrid’s business plan for the regulatory period, starting in 2023, meets and reflects the needs of the eight million customers across the communities it serves and supports the significant shift towards a low carbon economy.

An accomplished and respected leader with valuable board experience across multiple sectors including public health and environment; Justin comes from outside the energy industry, and has a strong regulatory background. He currently serves on the board of the Office of Rail and Road.

Chief executive of Northern Powergrid, Phil Jones, said: “We are delighted to have secured someone of Justin’s calibre and experience to lead our Customer Engagement Group. Our business will produce a better plan, and in turn will deliver a better service to our region as a result of having addressed the challenges brought by the group he will lead.”

Justin said: “I’m determined to build a forward-looking team that will effectively represent the needs and priorities of our region’s broad customer base, from single person households to the multinational companies. I relish the opportunity to play an active role in shaping them.”

Justin’s first priority will be recruiting members to ensure a broad and diverse range of expertise and views are represented.