Background

Energy Sparks is a registered charity in England and Wales, registration 1189273. Energy Sparks started in 2017 as a project of Transition Bath, a registered charity in England and Wales, registration 1139853, but became an independent charity in 2020.

Our Team

Staff

Dr Claudia Towner

CEO and Programme Director

Claudia worked as the Energy Sparks Project Manager since our start in 2017 when we operated as a project of charity, Transition Bath. She has now transitioned to her new role as CEO and Programme Director of the new Energy Sparks charity. Her role is wide ranging encompassing strategic and financial programme management, liaison with partners and funders, management of our team of staff and contractors, recruitment of schools and Local authorities, functionality specification and development of educational resources, resolving data availability and quality issues with energy suppliers and data collectors, higher level school support, co-ordination of user research, analysis of programme outcomes, and reporting to funders.

Claudia has a PhD in Atmospheric Science, and has previously worked for the Natural Environment Research Council and the Environment Agency's Pollution Inventory. She has also worked in Education Management developing a good understanding of the challenges involved in implementing energy saving education activities and operational and infrastructure changes in schools. Claudia has been Chair of trustees of two community charities and has extensive experience of charity governance and operations. 

Paula Malone

Project and Volunteer Co-ordinator and Education Support

Paula co-ordinates Energy Sparks' volunteering programme, develops our fantastic learning resources, and provides in-school support visits.

Paula is an experienced primary school teacher who has managed environmental campaigns within schools and the community. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering children to take action on the issues that concern them, particularly those tackling the Climate Emergency. Paula is also a Trustee for environmental education charity, Wicked Weather Watch which provides inspiring resources and events to teach primary school children about climate change and the Arctic.

Philip Haile

Energy Analyst

Philip was one of the initial founders of Energy Sparks and develops our energy data analysis and presentation approaches.

He has 10 years’ experience of using smart meter data to analyse energy consumption patterns in schools and help schools reduce their energy use. Professionally he is a specialist commercial and schools’ energy auditor and a Passivhaus consultant.  He has a background in engineering, technology, sustainable energy and finance, and in managing multi-million-pound projects and risk. In the early part of his career he worked for start-up businesses and performed due-diligence for venture capitalists in the technology sector both in the UK and California. He has engineering degrees, and holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.

Consultants

James Veness

In-school support

James has supported Energy Sparks schools in Sheffield and Oxfordshire since January 2019.  

James has worked in education for over 20 years; for the past nine as an education consultant and Director of School Energy Efficiency. He has motivated and inspired over 50,000 students, and led 150 students on Erasmus+ funded trips in Germany, where they studied ‘The Rational Use of Renewable Energy’. He has been part of three Antarctic Expeditions with the 2041 team, and is now a Climate Reality Leader. James is a mentor for the Ashden Foundation's LESS CO2 programme.

Trustees

Peter Andrews

Chair of Trustees

Peter is currently Treasurer of the charity the Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund, was one of the founder directors of BWCE and is a director of Frome Renewable Energy Company. Since moving to Bath in 1990 he has been involved in many community and sustainability projects including the setting up of Britain’s first Farmers’ Market, starting a Car Share Club in Bath and is currently chair of Transition Bath. He has been a sustainability advisor to the Local Agenda 21 committee and the B&NES Local Strategic Partnership. He was also co-organiser of England’s only Fare Strike in response to worsening conditions and increased prices on First Great Western trains. Peter owns and runs the environmental publishing house, eco-logic books.

Jamie Beevor

Trustee

Jamie has been working in energy and environmental sustainability for nearly 15 years, specialising in energy efficiency and sustainable transport. Currently Technical Director at London-based consultancy Green Gumption, his experience covers research and evaluation, model and tool development,  education and behaviour change programme and business sustainability training. He has worked on a number of school-focused projects including the development of a school carbon footprinting tool and behaviour change projects which were delivered in conjunction with schools across London.

Dr Robert Cohen

Trustee

Robert is Technical Director at Verco energy consultancy and has 30 years’ professional experience in building performance evaluation and energy management. Robert sits on the BEIS Advisory Group for introducing performance-based energy ratings for commercial and industrial buildings, the UK Green Construction Board Buildings Mission Task Group, the Climate Bonds Initiative Low Carbon Buildings Technical Working Group, the UKGBC Definition for Net Zero Carbon Buildings Task and Steering Groups and the BBP Sustainability Benchmarking Working Group. He has also served on Advisory Boards for the British Standards Institute and CEN Standards Committee TC89/WG4 and is author of numerous publications. Robert originated the Design for Performance (DfP) initiative in 2015 and is now the Technical Lead supporting the Better Buildings Partnership’s DfP Pioneer programme. Work in the schools sector has included his role as a Building Performance Evaluator for the Innovate UK non-domestic building evaluation programme (2010-2014) and developing tailored energy benchmarks for schools for the National Energy Foundation, working with University College London and the Usable Buildings Trust (2012-2014). Part of his PhD involved a field trial studying the benefits achieved by incorporating thermal storage in the central heating system of a secondary school.

Leigh Dodds, FRSA

Trustee

Leigh has over 20 years experience in software and data engineering, product development, and consultancy on data strategy. Leigh has supported the development of a number of data-enabled products and platforms from initial concept through to launch. For the last 10 years he has specialised in providing strategic advice and support to UK government and businesses of all sizes working to publish and use open data. Leigh is currently Director of Delivery at the Open Data Institute where he has responsibility for designing and delivering a range of strategic programmes, research and consultancy funded by UK Government, philanthropic organisations like the Gates Foundation, and organisations like Arup, Coop, Refinitiv and others. For the last 5 years Leigh also chaired the Bath: Hacked community group, which organises volunteers to explore uses of local data to benefit the local community. Their work has involved mapping accessibility issues in the centre of Bath and early prototyping of the Energy Sparks application.

Robert Schrimpff

Trustee

Robert is Co-founder and CEO of Solar for Schools. Prior to setting up Solar for Schools Robert led investments in renewable energy companies for 8 years first at TVM Capital in Germany and then at Greencoat Capital where he focused on solar. He co-founded Lumicity, a successful UK-based renewable project developer and led the investment in TenKsolar, who he claims manufacture the best solar PV systems for flat roofs. Previously Robert set up a number of Internet businesses including hotels.com and netxtra.net, a leading web development agency focused on helping membership organisations and charities leverage the Internet to be more efficient. He firmly believes that solar on roofs is the most sensible first big sustainable step to shedding our dependence on fossil fuels and wants to combine his experience in Internet business models, solar power and renewable energy finance to accelerate the adoption of solar on UK roofs. Robert holds an MBA from INSEAD, where he co-founded the INSEAD Energy Network and an Aeronautical Engineering Masters from Imperial College London.

Project Partners

Energy Sparks has been supported by a number of organisations who have provided funding or support to the project.