Board of Trustees and Advisory Group

Board of Trustees


  • Derek Lickorish MBE
    Derek has had an extensive career over some 46 years in the energy industry. He is a member of Ofgem’s Sustainable Development Advisory Group, Secure Meter’s Council of Advisors. He is also a trustee of Sustainability First – an environmental think-tank that promotes long-term sustainability through thought-leadership on policy and practice for energy, water supply and water management.He was previously for 6 years Chair of the UK Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.Prior to his focussing on fuel poverty, smart metering, sustainability and energy strategy, Derek was employed by EDF Energy as their Chief Operating Officer for 5 years and was previously the Customer  Service and External Affairs Director at SWEB from 1996. He commenced his career as a trainee at Seeboard in 1970.Derek was awarded an MBE for his ‘Services to the Fuel Poor’ in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Honours 2012.

Honorary Treasurer

  • Jim Kirby
    Jim is an experienced finance manager who worked for over 35 years in the gas energy and economic regeneration sectors.Prior to his retirement, he was the Management Accounting Manager at the regional development agency One North East where he worked with a small team to produce the final accounts following its closure in March 2012.Jim joined One North East in 2003 where he held a number of finance roles, all of which involved working closely with project managers on grant-related activities associated with renewable energy, economic inclusion, R&D, grants for business start-ups and expansion, and also working with Local Authority partners on local economic regeneration schemes. He was also closely involved in the set up and operation of two major and successful property partnerships with the private sector which generated income to the local economy of up to £20m per year.Jim began his career with British Gas in Leeds, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA). He gained wide experience in customer and operational activities such as estimation of gas consumption, meter reading options, showroom and customer payment schemes. He moved to Newcastle in 1982 as computer audit manager, and though privatisation and further corporate reorganisations of the gas industry he broadened his experience to cover finance support of the customer service and engineering sides of the business. As an Area Finance Manager, Jim was involved in developing the reporting structures and systems when Transco, the pipeline distribution company was established.While undertaking a wide range of roles in finance throughout his career, Jim particularly specialised in two main areas – financial support to operational budget holders, and high level reporting to senior management and Directors teams on finance issues affecting the organisation.

Members of the Board

  • Syed Ahmed
    Syed has close to 20 years working in the sustainable energy industry, in a wide variety of roles and organisations ranging from Friends of the Earth, the Combined Heat and Power Association, the Greater London Authority, Arup, and as a director of a trade association working in the insulation sector. Syed established Energy for London (, an independent think tank supporting London’s progress to becoming a low-carbon city. In 2014, he was seconded into the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) undertaking a review of linkages across the Government’s demand side energy policies. Syed has recently produced reports for the Green Investment Bank, London Green Party and Greenpeace. Syed is a policy advisor to the Green Gas Certification Scheme, working on issues related to the production of renewable gas (biomethane).Syed is a Director of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG), a Trustee for national fuel poverty organisation National Energy Action (NEA), on the Board of the Solar Trade Association and is a Commissioner to the London Sustainable Development Commission.
  • Andrew Brown
    Andrew studied journalism at Edinburgh University.  He began working for BBC Scotland as a news reporter in 1977, before moving to London to work for Gordon Brown as a research assistant in 1983.In 1987 Andrew joined the BBC’s Newsnight programme as an assistant producer and in 1989 he joined Channel 4 News as a producer, chief sub and then acting programme editor.  In 1996 he became the editor of Powerhouse, one of C4’s political programmes.In 2003 Andrew joined PR company Weber Shandwick as director of media strategy; where he provided strategic PR advice and media training to a number of companies and organisations.From 2004 until 2015 Andrew worked at EDF Energy in a number of positions including Head of Media Relations (2004-2007), Director of Corporate Communications (2007-2009) and finally as Brand, Sustainability and External Communications Director (2009-2015).
  • Alison Cole
    After graduating from York University with a degree in Politics, Alison gained a Masters in Politics from Warwick University.  She is currently Director – Communication at Arriva, a post she has held since 2014.  Prior to this, Alison worked as Deputy Director of Communications at the Royal Mail Group; and from 2000 until 2013 Alison worked at RWE npower as Director of Communications being responsible for external/internal communications, PR, sponsorship, community engagement and corporate responsibility. Prior to that Alison held key roles at National Power with a remit of managing relationships between the company, Central Government and the Regulator post privatisation.
  • Noel Rice (Chair, Northern Ireland Advisory Group)
    Noel worked at the NI Housing Executive, the Regional Housing Authority for Northern Ireland from October 1982 until August 2016.  From 1996 he held the post of Energy Conservation Manager at NIHE’s headquarters, a role in which he was responsible for developing a home energy conservation strategy for all housing tenures in Northern Ireland.

    Educated at Queens University Belfast and Ulster Polytechnic, Noel holds a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a BSc in Business Administration, Accounting and Politics.

  • Norman Kerr OBE (Director, Energy Action Scotland)
    Norman Kerr became Director of Energy Action Scotland in April 2005, having previously been Development Manager and Deputy Director since 1996.  Prior to this he worked with Heatwise Glasgow for 12 years as Production Unit Manager with responsibility for delivering the organisation’s energy efficiency programmes.

    Norman is Deputy Chair of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum and was a member of the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force and the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group.  Norman also sat on the Scottish Government’s Regulation of Energy Efficiency in the Private Sector (REEPS) Working Group.

    He is Chairperson of ScottishPower’s Energy People Trust, a trustee of the Aberdeen Combined Heat and Power Company, a member of the NEA Executive Board and is an independent fuel poverty advisor to SSE. He is currently on the stakeholder engagement groups for both Distribution Network Operator companies (DNOs) in Scotland i.e. SP Energy Networks and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution.

    Norman was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016 for services to the Children’s Hearing System in Scotland and for voluntary and charitable work in Glasgow. Norman served 32 years in the Children’s Hearing system as a volunteer holding a number of posts at local and national levels before stepping down in June 2016.

  • Philip Hudson
    Philip qualified as a lawyer and worked in legal practice in Newcastle upon Tyne before joining the electricity industry during the lead up to privatisation.  He was a founder member of the legal department at PowerGen plc.   He has been General Counsel and Company Secretary at Booker plc and Kelda Group plc, the parent company of Yorkshire Water.  Most recently Philip was part of the Executive Management team at Drax Group plc as its General Counsel and Company Secretary and as Director of Corporate Affairs.  He is Chairman of the Drax Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, a director of Electricity Pensions Limited and also chairs the Board of Warm Zones cic.
  • Jacqueline Gardener
    Jac is a strategic HR leader with an excellent track record of delivering innovative, and business aligned, HR strategies within large organisations. She has taken the lead role for significant organisational and cultural changes, implemented cost-effective people plans to deliver sustained improvement in business performance and managed large scale global projects.  Her career path spans HR leadership roles in passenger transport, aerospace manufacturing and assembly, driving strategic priorities across talent, reward and engagement, and establishment of an employee relations centre of excellence.

    Jac is currently HR Director at the Arriva Group, a post she has held for over 6 years. Joining as a graduate in 1996, Jac enjoyed a successful 15-year career with Rolls-Royce where she progressed to Head of UK Employee Relations, covering 21,000 employees across 15 locations.

  • Helen McLeod
    Helen is Fund Executive of The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund, which funds scientific research and patient care initiatives into haematological malignancies.

    Helen has previously worked for Charis Grants where she set up and managed the British Gas Energy Trust (BGET) and was Trust Manager for the Scottish Gas Energy Trust.   Her work with Charis involved her co-ordinating cross-utility industry working groups, and the production of industry-wide publications detailing utility Trusts and schemes to help vulnerable people in fuel poverty. She subsequently became a trustee of BGET and served on the Board for 6 years.

  • Dr Tessa Sayers PhD (Deputy Chair)
    Tessa has a degree in Language and Philosophy from York University, and an MSc in Computing Science and a PhD in Transport Engineering, both from Newcastle University.

    From a language-based job, through software engineering (with GEC-Marconi) to a research associate job in Transport Engineering at Newcastle University (1993-2006) Tessa has had a varied and interesting career.  In 2000 she became involved in West End Refugee Service (WERS, an organisation based in the West End of Newcastle offering support of various kinds to asylum seekers and refugees) as a volunteer befriender. In 2006 Tessa joined its board of trustees, first as secretary and then as chair, a post she held until 2012.  Tessa remains a Trustee of WERS.

    In 2007 Tessa began training as a Citizens Advice Bureau adviser.  As a CAB adviser she comes into contact with many people on low incomes with debt issues of various kinds, including fuel debts. This experience constantly reminds her of the multiple, interconnected difficulties of those experiencing problems with poor health, inadequate or insecure housing, unemployment, unstable family set-ups and poor education.

    In 2010, along with her husband, Tessa became a trustee (with management responsibility) for Faith Welfare Trust (FWT), whose object is to support, financially and strategically, an Indian charity which runs 2 children’s homes and a school.

  • Professor Chris Underwood
    Chris was a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering at Northumbria University until June 2018. He specialised in the mathematical and simulation modelling of technologies for heating, air-conditioning and embedded renewable energy systems in buildings. After completing his BSc in Building Services Engineering, he went on to join the staff at Northumbria as a research assistant in 1981 and completed a PhD in 1986 on the modelling and control of absorption cycle heat pumps. He went on to become senior lecturer, principal lecturer, reader and, in 2006, the Chair of Energy Modelling for the Built Environment.

    Chris has contributed over 100 research articles, books and book chapters. He holds the CIBSE’s Napier-Shaw and Dufton medals for research contributions and has held numerous research and consultancy grants from UK government, EPSRC and UK businesses.

Advisory Group


Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan

Vice Presidents

          • David Green OBE
          • Baroness Hilton of Eggardon
          • Baroness Maddock
          • Dr David Porter OBE
          • Lord Shipley of Gosforth OBE
          • Lord Whitty
          • Baroness McIntosh of Pickering


Published on 26-10-2015
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