All award entries will be put through a rigorous two-stage judging process, reviewed by our panel of independent experts.

The 2021 judges will be announced soon.

Stage one


All entries are reviewed and scored against the criteria by our independent panel of industry experts

Stage two

Our judges, chaired by Utility Week's Magazine’s Editor, Jane Gray will come together for an all-day judging session where the top entries will be put forward for further discussion and debate. The panel will select a shortlist and a final winner

John Parsons 300 x300 BW

John Parsons
Network Portfolio Manager

John Parsons has a long and varied career in the energy industry. Since 2013 he has been BEAMA’s Networks Portfolio Manager, representing members in the transmission and distribution sector. He is also manager of the BEAMA Energy Systems Group and is an executive member of T&D Europe, Chair of BSI L/13 Smart Grids Coordination Committee and a member of BSI L/001 Electrotechnical sector - Policy and strategy committee. Prior to joining BEAMA, he began his career in the merchant navy, serving as an engineer officer, then completed an MSc in Gas Turbine Technology at Cranfield University and worked for GEC Energy Research and British Gas Research and Technology (ultimately Advantica). During this time, he has gained experience of offshore and marine working, micro, small, medium and large scale CHP, fuel cells, heat pumps, solar voltaic and wind generators, power networks, smart meters, smart homes and smart grids. John is a past member of the Council of the Energy Institute. He has been project coordinator of European Projects on fuel cells and smart metering as well as coordinator of several UK projects on smart metering and embedded generation. Before taking on the Networks Portfolio, he was responsible for the BEAMA electric motor manufacturers association, set up BEAMA CEDIG for IHD manufacturers, BCHG for communications hub manufacturers.

Duncan Botting
Managing Director
Global Smart Transformation

Duncan currently holds the post of Managing Director Global Smart Transformation Limited. In this role he works closely with customers, academia, industry, utilities, government and regulators. He also provides mentoring and business acceleration services to numerous SMEs to help them achieve their strategic aims. He has over 40 years’ experience covering the complete spectrum of technical and commercial roles from apprentice to boardroom. He is engaged from market design to end user delivery and is invited on many influential panels, advisory boards, committees at a National, European and International level. He is a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; previously at Imperial College London. He is chair of the IET Energy Sector Executive, a member of the IET Energy Policy Panel, IET / Energy Systems Catapult Future Systems Architecture Project (FPSA) management group, founding member DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum and currently member of the BEIS/Ofgem Smart System Forum. He was voted one of the top 40 influencers in Europe on Smart Grids by his peers in 2014 (Metering and Smart Energy International). He is an international research assessor/advisor for competitive research programmes in various countries including Innovate UK.

Lily Frencham
Head of Operations
The Association for Decentralised Energy

Lily is the Head of operations at the Association for Decentralised Energy, where she leads the development of the Association’s policy and regulatory work focused on heat networks and energy efficiency. Lily joined the ADE from Ofgem, where she led the policy and communications team of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Before that, she worked at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, working with stakeholders in Pacific Islands to help develop their understanding of climate science and adaptation. Lily holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies, both from the University of Wollongong.

Maxine Frerk
Grid Edge Policy

Until last year Maxine was senior partner at Ofgem responsible for all aspects of regulation of the distribution networks, including the most recent RIIO-ED1 price control. During her earlier career at Ofgem she covered a range of areas including enforcement and smart metering. She is now director of Grid Edge Policy working as an independent consultant for a mix of regulated companies, community and consumer groups.

Paul Jordan
Innovator Support Platform Business Lead
Energy Systems Catapult

Paul joined the Energy Systems Catapult in December 2015 with over 20 years’ experience in the sector, most recently at Ricardo where he led their clean energy & power generation area. In that role, he focussed on conventional power, renewable energy and the integration of enabling technologies (networks, energy storage, hydrogen/FCs, EVs). Previously Paul was Business Development Director at Ocean Power Technologies, a wave energy technology developer and before that, he worked in the Carbon Trust’s Innovation Programme, developing new low carbon technologies and supporting the investment team. Paul has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Newcastle University and an MBA from INSEAD

Akshay Kaul
Director of Network Price Controls

Akshay is responsible for the economic regulation of transmission and distribution networks in the gas and electricity sectors in Great Britain, including the development of the next generation of network price controls called RIIO2. He joined Ofgem in 2017, and was previously responsible for the delivery of multi-billion pound investment regimes in the onshore and offshore transmission, and cross-border interconnection sectors. Prior to joining Ofgem, Akshay was on secondment from HM Treasury to Transport for London, where he led TfL’s work on funding transport infrastructure in London by capturing the uplift in land and property values associated with transport projects such as Barking Riverside Extension, Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo Line Extension. This followed a spell of five years at HM Treasury, where Akshay directed energy and transport projects for Infrastructure UK, a specialist infrastructure unit responsible for the planning, prioritisation, funding, financing and delivery of economic infrastructure. He has been involved in the design and delivery of electricity market reform, the competition for carbon capture and storage, the development of the new nuclear energy programme, the reform of the strategic roads network and regeneration projects such as the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station in London, the UK’s first large scale tax increment financing scheme. He also directed the production of the National Infrastructure Plan in 2011. Earlier in his career, Akshay worked for ten years with Partnerships UK, a joint venture between HM Treasury and the private sector, on the delivery of projects in the transport, health, education and housing sectors under the Government’s private finance initiative. He started his career in India, where he worked in investment banking and project finance for energy, transport and industrial projects for the IL&FS Group, a major Indian financial institution. Akshay studied economics, finance, management, and bioscience, at the London School of Economics, the universities of London and Delhi, and the Indian Institute of Management

Peter Kocen
Senior Press & Public Affairs Manager
The Energy Networks Association

Peter Kocen joined Energy Networks Association as Senior Press & Public Affairs Manager in 2018 where he manages external communications, media enquiries and ENA’s parliamentary engagement. Peter has extensive experience in communications in the energy industry having worked at Energy Retail Association and Energy UK as well as for Britain’s largest electricity distribution network, UK Power Networks

David Richardson
Innovation Lead, Energy Systems
Innovate UK

David is Innovation Lead for Energy Systems at Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. His work is focused on supporting companies to develop innovative low carbon technologies and services which will contribute to economic growth and decarbonise the UK’s energy sector. This is done through providing funding, connecting people and organisations that can mutually benefit from working together, and facilitating regulatory and policy feedback to Government. David’s particular areas of focus include local flexibility markets, multi-vector energy system integration, management of electric vehicles and other distributed storage, and digital products. He has previously worked at BEIS and across other Government Department’s delivering large public infrastructure projects in areas including energy, rail and vehicle licensing.

Sara Walker
Director of Infrastructure Research
Newcastle School of Engineering

Dr Sara Walker has experience of energy efficiency and renewable energy at the building scale, including building energy performance, as a result of over 20 years in academia and industry. Her research interests focus on the need to decarbonise buildings, and the associated energy system impacts of potential transitions to new technologies. Dr Walker is an Associate Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). Energy systems are important to the future of UK industry and society. Yet, the energy trilemma presents many complex interconnected challenges. The Centre aims to address modelling and simulation of these challenges by adopting a multi-scale and multi-vector approach within a highly collaborative environment. Dr Walker is currently Deputy Academic Director on the Active Building Centre (ABC), an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund £36m project to understand the potential for building loads to be controlled in such a way as to offer new energy system services. She is also Deputy Director of the EPSRC Supergen Energy Networks Hub, which brings together the vibrant and diverse energy networks community to gain a deeper understanding of the interactions and inter-dependencies of energy networks.