Bright sparks wanted for ‘Big Energy Ideas’

Britain’s brightest businesses and entrepreneurs have the chance to gain funding and support that could turn their innovative energy idea into a reality, after the 2017 accelerator programme opens for applications this week.

The Ignite ‘Big Energy Idea’ Accelerator Programme is looking for local businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations across the country with an idea that will make a difference to society through energy products or services.

The successful applicants will receive a package of pre-investment support including specialist knowledge from experts and the opportunity to apply for investment.

Ignite, backed by Centrica, is the UK’s first impact investment fund that focuses on energy, providing firms with the funding and expertise they need to help achieve their potential and make a positive impact on society.

Since 2014 the programme has supported more than 25 enterprises across the country, committing investment totalling £8 million so far to firms that are passionate about building a better and more energy efficient future.

Sam Salisbury, Investment Principal for Ignite, said: “Britain  is filled with innovative businesses and entrepreneurs.  We are hoping that twenty local businesses enter the Big Energy Idea to make the most of the support and potential investment available.

“We’re looking for people passionate about building a more efficient and sustainable future, and we just know that the people across the country have the ideas we need to solve some of the most complex problems facing our society.

“Whether it’s to make an energy idea a reality, scale a business up or increase its reach, we’re here to help enterprises achieve their potential.

“Over the past three years, we’ve awarded more than £8 million to projects across the country and have provided many more with essential mentoring, skills and networking support that they need to bring their idea to life.” 



Enterprises must submit their applications before the 31 January. If successful, they will be asked to pitch to a panel of industry and social enterprise experts in February.

For more information on Ignite’s ‘Big Energy Idea’, or to apply, visit:


About Centrica plc

  • Centrica is an international energy and services company. Everything we do is focused on satisfying the changing needs of our customers.
  • We supply energy and energy-related services to around 28 million customer accounts in the UK, Ireland and North America, through strong brands such as British Gas, Direct Energy and Bord Gáis Energy supported by around 12,000 engineers and technicians.
  • We are also developing new and innovative products and services for customers globally. Our Connected Home business has developed products such as the Hive smart thermostat and through our Distributed Energy & Power business we offer integrated energy solutions for commercial and industrial customers, including flexible generation, energy management systems, and battery storage. 
  • We also have an Energy, Marketing & Trading business which manages commodity risk and provides wholesale market access for the Group, as well as offering route to market services for third parties and undertaking optimisation and trading activity.
  • Centrica continues to be active in Exploration & Production, focusing on the UK, Netherlands and Norway and targeting production of between 40-50mmboe per annum.  In Central Power Generation, we own five gas-fired power stations in the UK and a 20% interest in EDF Energy’s UK nuclear fleet.We also own the UK’s largest gas storage facility, Rough.