Northern Ireland regulator appoints consumer watchdog as new chief


Northern Ireland’s Utility Regulator has appointed John French as its new chief executive.

French (pictured) is currently chief executive of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland and has “more than fifteen years’ experience in policy, finance and regulation in Northern Ireland, GB and internationally.” He joined the Consumer Council from Firmus Energy where he was director of regulation and pricing.


He will succeed Jenny Pyper in the autumn following her retirement after seven years in the post. Pyper announced her departure in February with the plan to stay until the autumn “to enable the appointment of my successor and to facilitate a short handover period.”


Chairman of the Utility Regulator board, Dr Bill Emery, said: “Given the remit of the Consumer Council” French will bring “a very high level of knowledge and experience of the energy and water sectors in Northern Ireland.”


French said the role will demand that he engages with “the wide range of stakeholders to practically promote the collaborative focus that will help us all meet future challenges.”