Find out about key people at Energy UK: Emma Pinchbeck, our Chief Executive and our Directors.
Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive
Emma Pinchbeck is an expert in whole-economy decarbonisation and the energy transition. From 2016-2020, she served as Deputy CEO of the trade body Renewable UK, in which role she also sat on the Board and on the Board of Scottish Renewables. She holds several board advisory positions, including with Imperial College and Innovate-UK, and is a regular commentator on climate change and renewables in the media. Prior to joining Renewable UK, Emma was Head of the Climate Change team at WWF UK; in this role she led a team campaigning on the Paris Agreement, on international aviation emissions, and on the UK’s Coal Phase Out. Emma strongly supports efforts to improve diversity in the energy sector and improve working practices in industry, and has been a mentor to various young professionals around her work. She has an MA from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, she ran her first Marathon in 2018 to raise money for WWF’s climate change work, and is a keen competitive rower. She is passionate about sustainable living: even her wedding dress was from Oxfam! Emma had her first child in Autumn 2019.
Audrey Gallacher, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy
Audrey Gallacher is the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy with Energy UK, the main trade association for suppliers and generators.
Audrey has an extensive background in the energy sector. Initially working with the regulator Ofgem as Head of Consumer Affairs in Scotland, before moving into energy consumer advocacy in 2000 when she became National Director in Scotland for the statutory consumer representative, energywatch. More recently she has held Director of Energy positions with the watchdog, Consumer Futures and at the charity Citizens Advice.
Audrey is also currently a member of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and a trustee for the Fuel Bank Foundation.
Sam Hollister, Director of Economics and Corporate Services
Sam was appointed Director of Economics and Corporate Services in July 2018, having joined Energy UK four years earlier.
Sam has policy responsibility for Energy UK’s Strategic Policy Committee and New Energy Services and Heat Committee, in addition to overseeing the internal functions of the trade association. Sam previously worked in UK Government, specialising on better regulation and economic growth, and spent time on secondment at the European Commission at DG Enterprise
Abbie Sampson, Director of External Affairs
Abbie Sampson joined Energy UK in January 2017 as Director of External Affairs, overseeing communications, public affairs and events. Abbie has extensive experience of strategic communications and public affairs in the private, public and charitable sectors including at the highest level of government, having previously worked in Downing Street.
Previously Abbie led communications at the consumer group Which? after working in a number of government departments. Abbie advises organisations on strategy, maximising opportunities and identifying risk, and how to clearly communicate values in an ever-evolving political environment.
She is passionate about driving greater diversity and inclusion, and is a Women in PR committee member.
Dr Barbara Vest OBE, Special Advisor
Barbara Vest is a Special Advisor (former Director of Generation at Energy UK).
Barbara has outstanding contacts and experience throughout the energy industry having worked in the supply business of Northern Electric and at Yorkshire Electricity. She has also held the post of Regulatory Affairs Manager at Gaz de France ESS prior to joining the Association of Electricity Producers.
Barbara is a member of the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage Cost Challenge Task Force launched by Rt Hon Claire Perry MP in January 2018. Barbara chairs the Joint European Stakeholder Group, is on the National Grid Independent Stakeholder Advisory Panel and until September 2018 is an elected industry representative on the Balancing and Settlement Code Panel. She serves on the Executive Council of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Barbara believes Energy UK can help its members meet the challenges facing the country as it strives to decarbonise its energy industry in an efficient and cost-effective way while maintaining security of electricity supply to British homes and businesses. She feels working with government and relevant stakeholders will optimise opportunities to create a stable framework to attract much needed investment in plant as well as improving understanding of the sector.