The Board of Directors of the Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-operative currently has six members with a range of complimentary skills.
Peter Boait (Chairman – elected September 2018)
Peter Boait is a chartered electrical/electronic engineer with a PhD in energy systems. For the last 15 years he has been performing and leading research and development around renewable energy systems, as Research Fellow at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University. This work contributed to the realisation of the Energy Local model for community energy schemes. Other examples of recent research publications cover “smart grid” demand response techniques and sustainable operation of mini-grids in the developing world.
Peter has been a board member of Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-op for the past year having also been a founder member, and will chair the board for the coming year. He is keen to find innovative roles for the co-op that will enable communities to benefit from the ongoing transition to a smart grid and decarbonisation of heat.
Iain Garner (Secretary – elected September 2018)
Originally from Cheshire, Iain moved with his family to Cheltenham from Edinburgh in 2016. His career has spanned over 35 years in the solar PV industry including 10 years with BP Solar, and as a self-employed consultant until May 2018 when he joined SunPower Corporation. Iain has a commercial background in business development for off-grid and grid-connected PV systems, working for international manufacturers and distributors across the PV value chain. Through exposure to UK/EU and worldwide markets, he brings insights throughout the industry and is able to identify key opportunities for new products, technologies and partnerships. Iain became a board member of GCEC in September 2018.
Richard Walter (Treasurer – elected AGM 2012)
Originally from a farm in Devon, Richard has lived in Cheltenham for over 25 years working as an engineer then an engineering manager in the public sector. He had been involved in voluntary activities for most of that time. He initially did conservation work with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, then acted as secretary of a Reserve Management Committee and is currently Treasurer & Webmaster of Cheltenham Film Society.
He installed solar PV, solar water and a wind turbine on his house in Cheltenham in 2005, collecting 4 years of detailed performance data and has recently refurbished an old cottage with solar water and ground source heat pump in Ireland. He had an Open Home day in 2010 to show alternative energy ideas.
Since retiring in 2010, Richard has become Treasurer & Webmaster of Transition Town Cheltenham and a trustee of The Rendezvous Society. Richard opens his home every year as part of the Cheltenham Eco-Homes open day.
Alison Crane (Elected 2012)
Alison has a long-term interest in environmental issues and stewardship of the earth. This has resulted in a variety of activities from campaigning with Greenpeace to responsibility for the Home Energy Conservation Act as a local government officer. While working for two West Midlands local authorities she developed and helped to implement a number of energy efficiency projects, many of them addressing fuel poverty in areas of housing deprivation. She has also taken various roles with Housing Associations. She is currently an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, and on the steering group of Transition Town Cheltenham, which she helped to establish. A Quaker, she is also a trustee for the Quaker Housing Trust and The Rendezvous Society.
Alex Agombar (Elected February 2013)
After completing her Ecological Sciences degree in Edinburgh Alex went to volunteer for Friends of the Earth in Leeds. This led to a role in the climate change campaigns team in London, where she stayed for 7 years. During the last few years she was involved with Friends of the Earth’s ‘The Big Ask’ campaign which successfully lobbied the Government to introduce the Climate Change Act. More recently Alex has been campaigning to reinstate the founding principles of the National Health Service.
Fred Barker (Elected December 2018)
Fred has worked as a researcher, policy analyst and stakeholder engagement specialist, including for local government, as a consultant and in government advisory committees. Fred’s previous community energy experience was in North Cornwall with Bude Energy Community and Bude Community Power. Fred now convenes Transition Stroud’s Community Energy Action Group and joined the Board of GCEC in 2018.