Judges confirmed for Energy Efficiency & Renewables Awards

REI is delighted to announce the four judges who will join editor Paul Stephen on the panel for this year’s Energy Efficiency & Renewables Awards.

Bill Wright (ECA), Dave Sowden (SEA), Robert Burke (HETAS) and Virginia Graham (REAL) will run the rule over entries in the run up to the awards ceremony at London’s Kensington Roof Gardens on Friday 26 September.

Readers only have until June 30 to enter the industry’s most prestigious awards in 15 diverse categories. Interest has already been strong and nomination packs can be requested by emailing or by visiting the new website


Bill Wright
After taking early retirement from the John Lewis Partnership in 2009, Bill Wright is now an independent consultant on energy and sustainability matters. He is Head of Energy Solutions at the Electrical Contractor’s Association promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency to ECA members. He has lectured on energy matters at London South Bank University.

He is past Chairman of the Electrical Safety Council and has been a trustee of the ESC for over 8 years. He is currently a non executive director of Ascertiva Group, the wholly owned subsidiary of the ESC. He is also on the Institution of Electrical Engineers committee which produces the IEE Wiring Regulations.

He has a wide interest in lighting and is currently Master of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, a City of London Livery Company for those involved in the lighting industry and electrical installations.

He was previously the Corporate Energy and Environment Manager and Chief Electrical Engineer of the John Lewis Partnership, covering both Waitrose supermarkets and John Lewis Department stores. He was responsible for the procurement and efficient use of all utilities, with a budget of over £40M. He was directly involved in the planning, building and engineering design to ensure new buildings and refurbishments incorporated sustainability in their construction.

His early career was spent with the MoD at various research establishments including the National Gas Turbine Establishment where he was Head of Test Services Section.

He has an MA in engineering from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET.

dave sowden

Dave Sowden
Dave leads the secretariat team at the Sustainable Energy Association, and has overall responsibility for day to day operations, strategy and policy development and full accountability to the Executive Committee.

Dave has a long track record in influencing policy, with many successes over more than 20 years in the energy industry. Widely credited with extending the 5 percent reduced VAT rate to include domestic microgeneration, he has for the last ten years applied his policy development and campaigning skills to win many more policy changes on behalf of SEA members in over a decade of service to the organisation. He is also a Founding Partner of Ecuity Consulting LLP, a leading Strategy, Policy and Regulatory Consultancy specialising in Sustainable Energy.

Virginia Graham

Virginia Graham
Virginia has extensive experience in sustainable energy policy. Virginia is currently Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd. As well as running the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and the Green Deal oversight and registration body and several certification schemes including the Green Gas Certification Scheme, she also advises a range of organisations in the public and private sectors on issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy and CO2 emissions trading.

She is the Chair of Global Action Plan, the practical environmental charity, and a Trustee of National Energy Action and Eaga Charitable Trust, a grant-giving body which promotes research into fuel poverty and energy efficiency. For six years to the end of 2005 Virginia was Director of Environmental and Social Affairs at Ofgem.

Robert Burke

Robert Burke
As Technical Director of HETAS, Robert serves the domestic solid fuel and biomass industry by both coordinating the development of Standards and Regulations for room heaters and also organising industry meetings in support of this work. Robert has previously worked as Director of ICOM Energy Association and held Technical and Product Development roles in building products and domestic solid fuel industries.

Prior to joining HETAS he was Director of ICOM Energy Association and has been actively promoting the use of Biomass as a renewable solid fuel since the introduction of SAP 2005. Robert is also the President of the British Flue and Chimney Manufacturers Association, a position he has held for over 8 years and has been involved in the drafting of British and European Standards for the Chimney and heating appliance industry.