Guest Blog: Haydn Young – UK retailers put innovation in the spotlight

The Wright Commission is a competition highlighting new, exciting and innovative ideas in the energy management space

One of the characteristics of an innovator is the ability to see the opportunity that others do not.

Innovators challenge current norms, embrace obstacles, accept risks and learn from rejection. As the late Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.

In this competitive and globalised environment, success stories can shape our world and the way we work (e.g. internet, iPhone), whereas others fail to hit the mark (e.g. Betamax, Segway’s). Many ideas struggle to ‘bridge the gap’ between innovation and rollout, failing to get it tested by actual customers.

A leg up for innovators

For innovators in the energy space the ‘innovation gap’ can simply be ‘a step’. The 20 UK retailers that form the Retail Energy Forum are keen to support innovations in the energy management space. Moreover, they’re willing to help innovators by providing a year’s mentoring from a major UK retailer to bring the innovation, product or idea to the market.

The Wright Commission Awards

The Wright Commission is a competition highlighting new, exciting and innovative ideas in the energy management space. Entries are assessed by members of the REF and finalists are invited to present their ideas in front of a live audience and the judging panel at Energy Live Expo, taking place on the 5th November at the QEII Centre in Westminster.

Last year’s winner was Nicotra Gebhardt

Greg Llewellyn, Director & General Manager, UK & Ireland, speaks enthusiastically about the benefits the award has delivered.

He said: “Winning this prestigious award, initiated by the Retail Energy Forum, has opened up the door for us to some major national retailers. Soon after winning the award we were invited to give a presentation to all REF members at their meeting in Manchester. This stimulated the interest from several of them and from there we have carried out a pilot installation in-store with the John Lewis Partnership.”


The judges are seeking innovative ideas, technologies or products that can accelerate the movement in saving energy and carbon. Current commercially available innovations are allowed – the judges will be looking for innovations that are not yet widespread in the UK.  If you have innovation you’d like to share, apply now.

The deadline is this Friday, August 30th at 5pm.

Act now:  Download the simple Application form here.

Haydn Young is an independent energy management expert and founder of  The Energy Club.

If you are an energy end user you can register to attend a club for free.

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