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 has worked for Energy Sparks since our start in 2017 when we operated as a project of charity, Transition Bath. As CEO and Programme Director of the 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. Outside of work, Claudia enjoys hill walking and wilderness travel with her family and is a keen ballroom dancer.

Leigh Dodds

CTO and Data Protection Officer

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. Until 2020, Leigh was 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 has 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. 

Paula Malone

Education Officer

Paula develops our fantastic learning resources, and provides in-school and virtual education workshops and online training for school staff.

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 the environmental education charity, Wicked Weather Watch which provides inspiring resources and events to teach primary school children about climate change and the Arctic.

Rebecca Scutt

School Partnerships and Data Coordinator

Rebecca manages partnerships with some of our Local Authorities and Multi-Academy Trusts to ensure a positive partner experience and effective partner support for Energy Sparks’ engagement with schools. She supports Local Authorities, MATs and schools during the recruitment and onboarding process to the Energy Sparks platform. She also monitors data quality and liaises with Local authorities, MATs, energy suppliers and data collectors to resolve meter issues. 

Rebecca has previously worked in a number of roles connected to education. This includes working as an English Language teacher in Italy, as a teaching assistant in a secondary school and working for a travel company that organises school trips. More recently, she has worked for the NHS to promote healthcare careers to young people. In this role, she also completed an Associate Project Management apprenticeship. 

Over the past few years, her interest in the environment and climate change has grown. In her previous job, she was part of a departmental Green Impact team and got involved with activities such as promoting active travel to colleagues. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys gardening. She likes to grow her own vegetables and is a volunteer gardener at her local train station.


Deb Bassett

Developer

Deb is one of the development team that works on the software that drives Energy Sparks. Deb has been developing software professionally for over 20 years, after graduating in 1998 with a computer science degree from the University of Manchester. She first started her career at the Press Association in Leeds, where she helped launch Ananova, the world's first virtual newscaster. There and also later at Cable & Wireless, she worked on Freeserve, one of the UK's first 'free' internet dialup services. Later on as a freelance developer, Deb delivered projects for organisations including: the National Science Museum, the BBC, O’Reilly, Orange & Brightbox. Deb lives in a small market town in the north of the UK with her husband, two sons and dog. Other than spending time with her boys, Deb likes to ride her bike or run with her dog in the Yorkshire countryside!

Stacie Taylor

School Support and Data Officer

Stacie monitors data quality, data feeds and liaises with energy suppliers and data collectors to resolve metering issues and data gaps. She also works alongside schools, local authorities and multi academy trusts to review and activate new accounts and support schools to engage effectively with Energy Sparks tools and resources.
 
Stacie has over 12 years experience working in schools and local authorities. She is passionate about supporting schools to understand their own patterns of data with the aim of improving processes and driving effective and meaningful engagement. Previous roles at Dorset County Council, Surrey County Council and Keele University included working with schools to understand and validate their energy bills, reduce their energy consumption, associated costs and carbon emissions. During this time Stacie worked closely with a network of local authorities, local businesses, educational and environmental charities, energy suppliers and energy procurement services. More recently, she has worked as a Data Manager and Exams Officer in a secondary school supporting targeted student intervention and providing a calm and well organised exams service. Stacie lives in South East London and enjoys parkrun, visiting the coast, baking and spending time on her allotment. 

Nikki Webb

Senior Energy and Carbon Consultant

Nikki delivers research projects, Multi-Academy Trust and Local Authority portfolio energy data analysis, identifies priority schools for energy saving action and supports them with appropriate advice and carbon reduction plans. She delivers online training for school staff and develops case studies, guidance and other materials to help deliver energy savings.

Nikki has worked on greenhouse gas emissions inventories for over 15 years. She previously managed the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), reporting emissions for the UK to the EU and UN. She led North Somerset’s climate emergency team, developing and driving forward their response to the climate emergency, leading on specific reduction and adaptation projects and scrutinising and improving decision making processes. While at North Somerset she developed and delivered their Carbon Literacy programme, leading them to become only the third Local Authority to gain a silver Carbon Literacy accreditation. She is also a member of Gibraltar's Climate Change Committee which is an independent body to provide advice and assistance on matters to do with climate change.

Consultants

Julian Higman

Developer

Julian works as a developer, writing code, running tests, and making sure that the servers are behaving themselves.

Before joining the Energy Sparks team in September 2020, Julian worked on projects including film festival websites, travel health and vaccination systems, and bill payments software. Although he graduated from Bath University as an electrical engineer, he has spent much of his career in software startups, and has a particular interest in agile development techniques. He is relatively sociable, and is organiser of the Nottingham Programmers meetup group.

Philip Haile

Energy Analyst and Auditor

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

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.

Richard Smith

Energy Auditor

After a 20-year IT career Richard Smith completed a Masters in ‘Environmental and Energy Studies’ at the Centre for Alternative Technology, focusing on the effectiveness of the Eco-Schools sustainability programme in tackling energy. He is Director of School Energy Efficiency CIC and has completed over 100 energy audits with schools across the country and engaged with thousands of students about energy. He is a STEM Ambassador and a Chair of Governors of a primary school.

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.

Andy Houston

Trustee, Treasurer

Andy is a Director at AFRY Management Consulting, where he leads strategic and commercial practice areas.  He is an expert in decarbonisation and sustainability within the electricity sector, and has provided advice to major utilities, global energy companies, financial investors, regulators and governments.  In previous roles, he worked in the water sector and for a major European utility company.  He lives in Bath with his wife and two young children.

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.

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.

Naomi Allen

Trustee

Naomi has been working in sustainability for over 12 years, specialising in behaviour change and engagement. Currently working for Accenture as a sustainability strategist, her experience covers all sectors, from retail to technology. She is driven by bringing together the two worlds of behaviour change and sustainability and is on a mission to make sustainability interesting and engaging. 

With a masters in Sustainability and a post-grad certificate in behaviour change, Naomi supports us to ensure our programmes are using the latest behaviour change thinking and is really driving impact for our schools.

Oliver Rosevear

Trustee

Ollie has worked in energy management & sustainability for over 20 years. He is currently Head of Sustainability for Fuller, Smith and Turner, the UK pub group. Until April 2021, he led Costa Coffee’s UK Sustainability Programme covering all aspects of environmental sustainability including energy reduction, sustainable buildings, circular economy & sustainable supply chains. Since joining Costa in 2010 he delivered a 43% reduction in direct carbon emissions. Costa Coffee Roastery in Lambeth was the first in Europe to implement the ISO50001 energy management standard in January 2012. He was also responsible for developing the UK’s first zero energy retail unit “EcoPod” and more recently helped build Europe's most sustainable purpose built Roastery in Basildon.

Prior to joining Costa Coffee, Oliver worked as an Energy Consultant for several UK Plc’s delivering energy procurement & reduction programmes. He began his career at British Gas Business where he worked across a broad spectrum of sectors including government departments, retail, hospitality and industrial users. Oliver is a member of IEMA & The Energy Managers Association. He is also Co-Chair of the Better Building Partnership Owner/Occupier forum bringing together commercial landlords and tenants to collaborate on tacking sustainability issues

As a father of three young children, Ollie is passionate about educating people to live more sustainable lifestyles and reduce their impact on the planet.


Tim Warnes

Trustee

Tim Warnes has a background in corporate strategy and communications, public affairs, investor relations and government. He is currently Head of Communications at
Offshore Energies UK. Before which, he was a senior manager at UK Research & Innovation, and has also worked for the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, helping innovative British businesses win investment and enter new markets.  Previous roles included press and analyst relations at leading semiconductor IP firm ARM Holdings and as a senior consultant with Global Thinkers Forum in London. 

Sunny Pawar

Trustee

Sunny has over 17 years of cross-sector experience in Corporate Sustainability, Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”), Climate Change, Environmental Management Systems (“EMS”), Energy, Social Impact and Circular Economy in both public and private sectors. Sunny is Chair of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) South East Steering Group, and has contributed to the IEMA Change Management for Sustainable Development Practitioner Guide. Sunny founded Green Collar to deliver strategic and technical sustainability and environmental consultancy and software solutions, focusing on risk, performance and growth of assets and green business models. He has developed a revised environmental and sustainability governance structure and reporting systems for FirstGroup plc, and has been Head of ESG (Environmental. Social and Governance) for Flutter Entertainment plc. He is now Head of Climate Change & Net Zero (UK) at Kuehne+Nagel.

Project Partners

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