Day in the Life: Juliet Davenport

The CEO of green energy supplier Good Energy explains how she fits advising government ministers, exploring the potential of energy from cheese production and spending time with her daughter into a packed day.

My six year old daughter wakes me up between 6.30 and 7am. I dive into the shower and try and have a coffee to get my brain moving before heading out for a walk through the woods with my dog Dora, a working cocker spaniel. I will check texts and emails on my phone before I head out and start thinking about the day ahead: it’s a good time to figure out what my priorities are. It’s also the half hour in my day that I have to myself, where I get to enjoy nature and just look at the trees in the Cotswolds where I live. It’s not easy to finish the walk as the dog never thinks we’ve walked far enough.

If I have to go to London or visit another part of the country I will start work from home and carry on en route. I try and take trains as much as possible because you can work on them. Before I leave I will check the weather and see how much power our solar panels at home are generating; if I’m going into the office I’ll also need to check if our hybrid car is charged up.

Whilst driving I take my time to think of ideas and when I arrive at the office I download the ideas to the innovation and R&D teams that sit outside my office. They don’t always appreciate yet more ideas! As Good Energy trades power every day I also check in with the team that manages all our assets. We buy power from about 1000 independent generators and we have to keep on top of what’s happening with them and also the six power stations we own – we’re just about to announce a seventh.

My PA organises my day and will highlight everything that I’ve got to do in my email inbox. I get many invites to speak at events so they will judge if I have diary space to do it. I’d speak at every event if I could so I need somebody else to be ruthless otherwise I would never be in the office. Recently I spoke at the Hay festival, which is a brilliant place for ideas. The discussion we had was ‘Does anyone really care where their energy comes from?’ – 61% of the UK’s energy is from imported fuels. I also get asked to appear at parliamentary enquiries where we discuss what the future national energy system might look like or to advise on changing policy.

Sometimes my job can be fascinating – I recently went to see some innovative people in Somerset who are producing power from cheese. It was good to go and understand the technology and if I could do that kind of thing more, that would be brilliant.

I try to get home to spend time with my daughter and then I might start work again after she has gone to bed. If you’re a mum you have to be relatively flexible. That’s the time I will catch up on anything I haven’t managed to do in the day.

To relax I watch films – my daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter at the moment so I’ve been watching a lot of those. My cut off point is 10pm. I will read a book in bed and then probably fall asleep about five seconds later! I get about eight hours sleep – I can’t deal with less than that otherwise my brain fries.

 

This article was originally published in Pioneers Post Quarterly, the printed edition of this magazine. To find out more about PPQ, including how to subscribe, click here.