The network’s board is currently comprised of the following directors:

carolineCaroline Bird (chair)

Caroline is a freelance researcher, currently based at the University of Bristol (Cabot Institute and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law) where she has been working on city futures, alternative forms of governance, community energy, and with social enterprises in various sectors responding to climate change. Her research in 2013 helped BEN develop the groundbreaking Bristol Community Strategy for Energy and has fed into the national Community Energy Strategy. At the core is an interest in the broad issues of environmental sustainability and, more specifically, in community action, energy and climate change, and sustainable environments and how interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral approaches help develop practical solutions – particularly in cities.

Caroline has past lives in Civil Engineering and local government environmental policy and brings a breadth of sustainability knowledge and experience and a few useful skills to the board. She was also a director of Transition Montpelier and a member of the Montpelier Energy Group.


JakeJake Barnes

Jake is an activist and academic. He joined the network shortly after its first public meeting in late 2010, first helping coordinate the network and later as a director. In 2013 he coordinated the development and launch of the Bristol Community Strategy for Energy and in 2014, led the incorporation of the network into a CIC. In his research Jake explores how progress towards low carbon energy systems and sustainability transitions more broadly can be achieved. He has worked with local governments, community groups and social enterprises to reflect, learn and pursue transformations to sustainability. He currently holds a research position at the University of Oxford.


charlieCharlotte Eddisford

Charlotte has been working in Bristol’s support and advice sector for the past 5 years delivering advice, workshops and a programme of community outreach. She is the Community Engagement Officer at Pennywise, a money management charity which supports people to take control of their finances. She is keen to support efforts to promote sustainability and reduce fuel poverty, connecting green issues and energy saving with money saving. She would like to share her experiences of community engagement and use her connections to support Bristol Energy Network to widen its reach across communities.


Sam WillittsSam Willitts

Sam Willitts has worked in environmental roles across the public sector. He has been the Energy and Sustainability Manager at University Hospitals Bristol since 2010. Along with tackling carbon emissions through both engineering and behaviour change approaches; his efforts are focused on embedding sustainability in activities across the Trust.  Key successes in greening the Trust have been achieved through developing partnerships with organisations across Bristol and beyond. He is particularly interested in community led solutions to sustainability problems. He is a Director of Keynsham Community Energy. He has recently completed a One Planet MBA at Exeter University.

bakary-sannehBakary Sanneh

Bakary Sanneh is a local resident who is involved in voluntary community work and has a special interest in energy efficiency and awareness. He has a degree in Accounting and Financial Management and experience in general accounting duties, he is currently working in customer service. He is also auditor of Senegambia Hidden Talents, an organisation that is involved in helping children reach their potentials, and involved in fundraising for the society, planning activities for children and assisting them to become future leaders. Bakary interest in joining the network was to help in advising people struggling to pay their energy debts, finding cheaper deals and accessing grants that they may be entitled to, since the community he works with has very low awareness of matters relating to energy efficiency.

Jenny Howard Coles 

Jenny is from Bristol and works as a Senior Development Manager at Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) where she develops new ideas, projects and income streams for the organisation. She has worked in the local and community energy sector for five years and has experience of developing and managing energy projects and services with domestic, commercial and public sector beneficiaries, collaborating with a variety of partners.

Jenny joined CSE following four years working for Plymouth City Council as a Low Carbon Officer and Business Developer for the award-winning community benefit society Plymouth Energy Community (PEC). Her varied role involved project, partnership and organisation development and management.

Jenny is especially interested in projects which link the sustainable energy and fuel poverty agendas with wider issues such as housing, education and economic development. She has an MSc in Architecture, advanced environmental and energy studies from the Centre for Alternative Technology where her research focused on community energy and local planning.


Helen Powell

Helen Powell

Over the last 9 years Helen has worked in various roles within the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Southern Solar, Sustain and Solarcentury. Through her roles she has engaged and advised individuals and community groups on their energy usage, worked with people in fuel poverty, developed effective relationships with companies to win repeat business, managed funding applications to access government ECO funding, worked with community organisations to install successful projects and successfully sold and developed millions of pounds worth of complex solar projects. Helen is currently working on setting up her own business but is keen to stay connected to the energy world and use her acquired knowledge to help a worthwhile cause.

AGM – December 2017

Bristol Energy Network’s 2017 AGM took place on Wednesday 6 December at the Bristol Energy Hub on the Waterfront.  The AGM was attended by around 25 people from across the community energy field in Bristol – for more details see here.

Board meetings

Board meetings are held regularly to review activities of the CIC and ensure good governance, dates of recent past meetings are below:

7 March 2018

23 January 2018

1 November 2017

3 September 2017

27 June 2017

25 May 2017

15 February 2017

11 January 2017

30 November 2016

7 September 2016





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