Utility Regulator Chair and Board Member Terms of Appointment

Date published: 10 October 2022

The terms of appointment for the Chair and a Board Member of the Utility Regulator have been increased by 12 months.

Bill Emery joined the Utility Regulator as its non-executive chairman on 1 July 2012. His second term of office was due to finish after five years on 30 June 2023 but the term will run until 30 June 2024. 

Teresa Perchard joined as a non-executive board member on 1 September 2013. Her second term of office has been increased by 12 months and will finish on 31 August 2024.

The Finance Minister has also agreed new terms and conditions for Utility Regulator Board members which relates to taking up appointments after their term at the Utility Regulator has ceased.

This condition states that Board members must obtain the written approval of the DoF Permanent Secretary (or Minister if in post), in consultation with the Authority Chair, before taking up any offer of employment or any appointment in any related organisation.  This includes organisation whose business is likely to consist in whole or in part of services of any kind related to the gas, electricity, or water industries or markets in Northern Ireland.  The condition stipulates a period of two years from the Board members’ appointment to the Authority ceasing.

Notes to editors: 

1.            The Utility Regulator is the non-ministerial government department responsible for regulating the electricity and gas industries as well as water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland.  It protects the interests of consumers with regard to both price and quality of service.

2.            Bill Emery is a civil engineer with a PhD in public health engineering who worked on major capital works and corporate planning before becoming a regulator in 1990. He has over 30 years’ experience in regulation. He was chief executive of the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain’s railways for six years, retiring in June 2011. Prior to working at ORR, he worked in senior positions in the Office of Water Services (Ofwat) for 15 years. As well as being chairman of the Utility Regulator, Bill was previously the chairman of the Single Electricity Market Committee.  He is also currently non-executive chair of the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), a cross sectoral group of regulators, regulated enterprises and academics with the aim of helping improve regulation across Europe. He is also chairman of the UK Regulators’ Network. Bill was a magistrate on the Sheffield bench for over 40 years, retiring from the active list in June 2021.

3.            Teresa Perchard has more than 30 years’ experience of consumer affairs policy and advocacy in a number of markets. This includes nine years’ experience working in both the Office of Water Services and the Office of Rail Regulation. Until June 2013 she was Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice, where she worked for more than 13 years. Teresa now holds a number of non-executive and advisory roles concerned with consumer protection and regulation. These include Chair of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers’ Consumer Reference Group in England and Wales (having served as a Council member for 8 years up until May 2022). She is also Chair of the Fairbanking Foundation charity. Until March 2015 she was Vice-Chair of the UK Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (England) and was a member of that group for 10 years. She was also Consumer Champion for CIGA between 2015 and 2018, Chair of the Affinity Water Customer Challenge Group from 2016 to 2020 and a member of the Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) Customer Engagement Group for the ED2 price control (GB) which concludes in 2022.

4.           The Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland has been informed of these changes. The variation to their terms of appointment are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Bill Emery has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years. Teresa Perchard has declared that she was a candidate in the Scottish local elections in Edinburgh May 2022 for the Leith Ward, and in that capacity undertook leafleting and some public speaking for herself and a candidate in another nearby Ward; attended at polling stations and the count. Teresa was not elected and notified the activity to the Chair of the Utility Regulator in advance of it taking place - the Chair did not consider it represented any conflict with her role on the UR board.

5.            The position of non-executive chairman attracts an annual remuneration of £36,613.

 6.            The position of non-executive board member attracts an annual remuneration of £10,437

 7.            All media queries to DoF Press Office on 028 9016 3389. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.

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