The voice of the energy industry

Bright sparks light up the London night

What do Young Energy Professionals do on a hot summer night in London? Well, on 30 June 2015 nearly 200 people from the energy sector put on their finery for the first ever YEP awards at Vinopolis on the Southbank. 

The event – supported by EY- celebrated the successes of people with no more than ten years’ energy experience. There were awards in five categories: leadership, innovation, customer focus, rising star and the EY YEP of the Year 2015. The judges had a hard time picking the winners. In fact they bemoaned – in a good way – just how hard it had been to whittle the entrants down to a manageable short-list. Some even claimed to be intimidated by the quality and energy of the applicants.

Energy was certainly front and centre as the evening rocked along under the effervescent chairmanship of Graham Dickson from RWE npower. If he ever gives up the day job he could give many TV hosts a run for their money! 

Three observations from the night might also shock people outside the industry: 1) loads of companies outside the narrow confines of the ‘Big Six’, just proving both the sector and Energy UK is much more than a rather exclusive club; 2) seriously dashing young people in an industry often considered more full of men like your dad than Ollie Locke; and 3) women, putting pay to the myth that energy’s just hard hats and heavy engineering.

And, when people won, there was enough power and joy to light up London –the winners were: Hannah Brown [EDF Energy] for leadership; Patrick O'Rourke [ESB] for Innovation; Elizabeth Garber [EDF Energy] for Customer Focus; Benjamin Comninos [Centrica] was the Rising Star; and Susan McDonald [National Grid] lifted the coveted EY YEP of the Year 2015 accolade. There was a particularly high octane outburst from the ESB table when Patrick won - but their pride and pleasure was mirrored throughout the hall and the night as the whole industry rejoiced in the standard of its future leaders, confident this vital industry is, and will remain, in safe hands.

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