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Meet the Judges


Kevin McCloud


Kevin McCloud is best known for the internationally acclaimed series Grand Designs which has been running on Channel 4 for 20 years. It is now shown around the world along with spin off series including Grand Designs: The Street and Grand Designs: House of the Year. In 2015, Grand Designs was awarded the Bafta for Best Feature.

Kevin’s other TV work includes two series of Man-Made Home, Kevin’s Supersized Salvage and Kevin McCloud’s Escape To The Wild (Channel 4). He wrote and presented his four part Grand Tour of Europe and spent two and a half weeks in the slums of Mumbai for Channel 4’s 2010 India season.

Kevin has written several books on design and champions sustainable development, context, the historic environment, and ecological construction. He believes that the best architecture relates to where it is, as much as who it is for.

Kevin studied History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge, is an Honorary Fellow of both the RIBA and the Society of Light and Lighting, a fellow of WWF and a recalcitrant patron of a handful of organisations. His two ambitions remain to entertain and to make the built environment better – and consequently ‘make people feel better’.

He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for his services to architecture.

Jade Lewis

Chief Executive -Sustainable Energy Association


As Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), Jade engages with the development of a range of energy efficiency policies and is dedicated to the decarbonisation of homes and buildings.

She joined the SEA with a wealth of experience within a policy and regulatory affairs capacity after working with the Government, Parliament, and industry at the heart of some of the biggest challenges facing the sustainable energy and construction sectors.

Having experienced the good and bad of political interventions over the past decade whilst the climate emergency has worsened, Jade recognises just how important it is to bring industry and policymakers together to design effective policy. Her efforts in engaging with policymakers has been dedicated to driving improvement in the performance of buildings to enhance the wellbeing of occupants and minimise the long-term impact of our built environment on the planet.

Ian Rippin

Chief executive officer of MCS – the Microgeneration Certification Scheme


Ian is CEO of MCS, a profit for purpose organisation operating at the heart of the UK’s adoption of renewable energy sources for our homes and small businesses. MCS is responsible for the national Standards that cover low carbon products and their installation, used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.

He started his career in telecommunications with BT and has held managing director roles for the Environment Agency’s National Laboratory Service and for CSA Group’s UK operations as the world leader in explosion safety and environmental product certification. His career underpins his passion for quality and the role that standards play in protecting consumers.

Ian is currently leading MCS through a period of transformational change as the organisation strives to inspire a next generation of home-grown energy, fit for the needs of every UK home and community.

Ian is a member of the government’s Green Jobs Delivery Group.

Mark Wilkins

Technologies and Training Director - Vaillant


As someone who has been working in the heating industry for almost forty years, Mark has a wealth of expertise and knowledge on the heating industry, the development of boilers and an in-depth knowledge of sustainable heating solutions, such as heat pumps. Having held a variety of roles across many heating markets, including the UK, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia, he’s passionate about heating and has a lot of rich and engaging information he can share on the subject.

Mark’s career in the heating and gas industry began at British Gas as an apprentice before taking on various product management roles at energy companies. From here he went on to head up training and product management at Vaillant.

With such a diverse career, Mark is an expert in understanding the trends, market size and value of domestic and commercial heating, as well as its legislative influences and can offer insightful comments on this. Vaillant is continually creating and evolving its efficient heating systems, including creating market leading heat pumps, and Mark is always looking ahead to understand the future of the industry and what innovations Vaillant can create to meet key sustainable consumer needs.

Working his way up from an Apprentice Gas Engineer to Director of Technology has allowed Mark to understand all levels of domestic and commercial heating from the products, to how it affects customers and their wider impact on the environment.

Simon Melbourne

Systems Sales and Design Manager - Vaillant


Simon supports customers daily, he is on hand to provide advice on the design of a full heating and hot water system to answering technical queries on how to wire a system control.

He has a wealth of experience gained from 25 years in the heating and hot water industry, working across roles including a technical advisor, service engineer, renewables product manager and, most recently, managing the System Sales and Design team at Vaillant.

Simon has worked at Vaillant for over 12 years and has overseen 1,000’s of heat pump projects, installed in 1-bed properties through to large-scale properties that required a cascade of heat pumps fitted.

What is the Vaillant Heat Pump Challenge?

Vaillant has teamed up with Kevin McCloud to uncover the truth about having a heat pump installed in a wide variety of homes across the UK, and to help answer the common queries about the practicalities of installing and living with this type of low-carbon heating technology.