Hayden Wood, co founder of Bulb, talks about the technology-led renewable energy supplier.

Bulb is a technology-led renewable energy supplier. After ten years in management consultancy, Hayden Wood co-founded Bulb to give UK consumers and businesses a choice in energy they haven’t had before: low-cost renewable energy. The site allows people to switch to market leading 100% renewable electricity and 10% renewable gas in three minutes, manage their usage through an intuitive MyBulb portal and participate in a growing online community.

We came up with the idea when... my co-founder, Amit, and I both worked in the energy industry. He was a gas and electricity trader. I was a strategy consultant working with some of the 'Big Six' suppliers. We saw first hand how consumers were getting a raw deal: prices were too high, and customer service was poor. We also discovered that many people wanted to buy renewable energy but couldn’t because it was too expensive. That's when we decided to start Bulb to give people a real choice of affordable renewable energy.

The biggest challenge is... keeping things simple. We knew that our switching journey, the portal where our members can submit meter readings and manage their usage and the whole online experience needed to be simple, clear and easy to use. However, simplicity and clarity do not come easy, and we are continually improving our online experience and automating our processes for faster, better service.

The average day is spent... working with our growth team to get the word out about Bulb and working on new feature development to improve our core product. Inertia in the energy market means a lot of our focus is on educating people about how quick and easy it is to switch and encouraging word of mouth recommendation through social media and our growing online community of members.

The team consists of... a growing group of technology-minded people that think about energy differently. We tend not to recruit directly from the energy industry because we want people who will challenge the status quo.

My favourite quote... Hmm. I'm not one for quotes but this one from Woody Allen comes to mind, every now and again: "If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."

I am where I am today because of... curiosity. I'm lucky to have worked with a wide a variety of different people and businesses around the world. The wonderful people I've learnt from and the systems and processes I've seen, good and bad, gave me the skills and confidence to start Bulb.

I am who I am because of... my wife. Flora advises, encourages and supports my hard work and ambition for Bulb. I can't imagine doing this without her.

The best advice I've been given is... that learning can sometimes feel uncomfortable. If you want to keep developing, you've got to put yourself in new and challenging situations.

In five years I’d like to be... at the centre of a transformed, democratised energy industry where people are using less energy and getting it from renewable sources.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... is that it can, if you let it, take over every aspect of your life. Separating business and personal life is a vital discipline.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... We entered into some lengthy contract negotiations for services with people we didn't feel right about at the start. We should have trusted our instincts.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date is... seeing people recommend Bulb to their friends and family via our referral scheme. People are genuinely excited to spread the word about affordable renewable energy. It makes it all worthwhile when you see your service making people happier and more empowered.

July 2016