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

Dave Hall
Details to follow.

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).

Claire Durkin (Chair, NEA Cymru Advisory Group)
Claire has had a career in central government, working in senior roles on energy policy, including sustainable and affordable energy, as well as international research and innovation. As Director of Energy Markets she was responsible for fuel poverty policies and programmes, and worked closely with Defra and Ofgem on fuel poverty issues, smart meters, energy security and low carbon solutions. Internationally she has helped develop collaboration between UK researchers and developers run the UK and in India and African nations, seeking innovative approaches that are affordable, accessible and sustainable. Her career in government also covered international trade, consumer affairs and competition, low pay and participation in the labour market. She worked on the first ever national minimum wage.Living in Wales, she is a member of the Welsh Innovation Advisory Council. She is also working with the Institute of Physics to develop a broad programme to support Physics in Africa.

Jac Gardner
Jac has over 25 years’ experience in HR leadership roles. Currently HR Director at Arriva, one of the leading European passenger transport operators, Jac is responsible for talent, reward and organisation across the Group and works closely with the Group’s leadership team to develop and deploy their people strategy to attract and retain the best employees, and create an environment in which they can succeed.Prior to joining Arriva, Jac spent 15 years with Rolls-Royce plc in a number of generalist HR roles, and latterly, leading the UK employee relations and employment policy teams.Jac’s experience working in regulated industries and providing a public service so important to local communities, provides a good basis for her role as a Trustee with NEA, a role she has held since 2017. Jac has recently taken up the role as RemCo Chair.

Rob Howard
Rob Howard is a Consultant in Public Health at Leicestershire County Council and Head of School for the East Midlands Speciality Public Health Training Programme. He has career long commitment to tackling inequalities within the context of the wider determinants of health. He has worked in the voluntary sector (welfare rights, housing and health), the NHS (Regional Associate Director for NICE, Public Health Registrar), and the Civil Service (Food Standards Agency) and currently for a large County Council.  His current portfolio includes children and young people, workplace health and wider/social determinants of health. He is an Honorary Assistant Professor (Consultant) at the University of Nottingham.When not working he might be found riding his bike, playing a guitar, picking his children’s clothes off the floor, or forlornly following Nottingham Forest Football club.

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.

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.

Miss Helen Walker
Since 2014, Helen has worked at Dogs Trust, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity as Head of Philanthropy & Corporate Partnerships. She is responsible for establishing and leading Dogs Trust’s high value fundraising department focused on major donors, trusts and foundations, special events and commercial partnerships. Helen also established Dogs Trust USA in 2017, as a 501 c 3 non-profit in the USA and is currently responsible for running the US charity.Prior to joining Dogs Trust, Helen worked as International Head of Development at The Climate Group, a non-profit focused on tackling climate change by empowering world leaders in business and government. She established a global team to grow income for the US, India, China/ Hong Kong and Europe operations.Helen is originally from the North East and started her career at NEA. She worked at the charity for nearly eight years between 2004 and 2011, first as an Assistant in the Research Team before moving into fundraising and establishing NEA’s Income Generation Team. Helen also served as a Trustee of The ScottishPower Energy People Trust and as a judge of The People’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship.She is proud owner of Darcy, a 7-year-old rescue cockapoo and currently splits her time between the North East, London and the USA.

Advisory Group


          • Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

Vice Presidents

          • David Green OBE
          • Baroness Hilton of Eggardon
          • Baroness Maddock
          • Dr David Porter OBE
          • Lord Shipley of Gosforth OBE
          • The Rt Hon Lord Whitty


Published on 28-01-2020
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