Energy Consumers Commission: October 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 12 October 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Lewis Shand Smith, Chair
  • Frazer Scott, Energy Action Scotland
  • Kate Morrison, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Dan Van der Horst, University of Edinburgh
  • Lucy Gillie, South Seeds
  • Carol Masheter, Soirbheas
  • Robert Leslie, Thaw Orkney


  • Suzy Goodsir, Greener Kirkcaldy


  • Peter Brearley, Scottish Government
  • Jamie Macleod, Scottish Government
  • Julie Thompson, Scottish Government

Items and actions


Introductions and welcome: 10:00 – 10:05 

Welcome to Robert Leslie – new member representing THAW Orkney

Welcome also to Julie Thompson – member of the secretariat

Presentations on Members workplans: 10:10-10:50

Frazer provided an introduction/ summary of EAS current work.

Kate provided the same for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) work.

The commission raised the issue of consumers who have received poor treatment through the green deal.

Question from the commission – How will the projects link to the advocacy work?

Answer from Secretariat: This is up to the commission ultimately but research will feed directly into the advocacy work. Also close links with the grass roots work will be built into projects.

Taking forward the work plan: 10:50 – 11:40

A high level update on the number of work plan consultation responses was given.  


  • Secretariat to share responses and summary of points raised

Grassroots networks: 10:50-11:10

Stakeholder mapping – discussion of key contacts/ organisations each member thinks should be involved.

How can Grassroots be supported to influence decision making?  

Can we ask grassroots networks to contribute to forthcoming meetings?

Question raised by commission : How will this network work in practice? 

Plan to extend network beyond member orgs to gain wider insights into the commission’s priority themes. 

Issues raised by the commission on this include:

  • CAS have own network of energy advisors. How can we best link this?
  • need to consider both day to day impacts but also upstream issues
  • need to harness existing learning to ensure that good practice in networks isn’t lost
  • making sure funders have the necessary knowledge
  • what role do the Community Engagement Groups (CEGs) have? It was raised that CEGS are still experts but there is some potential here. It’s not clear how these groups influence especially considering Ofgem’s response
  • the commission also suggested regional forums as a means of reaching these key stakeholders


  • Secretariat to map existing grassroots organisations networks with input from members

Advocacy – Including consultations process 11:10-11:30

Discussion of calendar events

Any suggested potential subjects for themed upcoming meetings and how these might link in to upcoming events?

  • the commission agreed the BEUC should be brought on for an upcoming meeting to link the commission into EU work and wider international consumer issues/thinking
  • the Energy Ombudsman will be contacted about potentially attending a meeting

System for flagging events/ milestones on an ongoing basis– how can this work?

The commission stressed the need to both provide an appropriate heads up on consultations/ work but also to set out the process for contributions from the commission.


  • Secretariat to draft a document setting this out and to share with commission

Projects 11:30-11:40

Update on timeline 


  • Secretariat to provide clarity on timescales for commission involvement in projects through ITT drafting and project selection

Heat Networks Bill: 11:40-11:50 

Discussion of current progress, can the commission contribute?

Any questions to be raised at an upcoming ministerial meeting?

Commission agrees that there is a need to engage further on this subject.

Kate offered to provide a briefing on this subject to the commission this week ahead of the meeting with the Energy Minister (Date TBC).

AOB: 11:50- 12:00

Next meeting date: 12th Jan at 10am

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