Meet ECOE’s new chair: Tara Bowers

Tara Bowers

Tara Bowers

Meet ECOE’s new chair: Tara Bowers

The last few months have seen quite a lot of comings and goings at ECOE. We’re gradually introducing people to you so that you don’t wonder who they are when you meet them. Next up is Tara Bowers, who will be our chair for the next year, following our AGM on June 6.

What is your role at ECOE?

I have just taken over the role of Chair from Patrick, and have been a Director for the last year. The role of Chair requires me to chair the Directors’ meetings, oversee the composition of the board and the running of the organisation and represent ECOE externally. I have been a Home Energy Advisor for our Healthy Homes project for the last 18 months.  This involves visiting people in their homes, running some of our drop in energy clinics. I also give talks at community groups, arrange frontline worker training, and assist Gill Wyatt with the management of the project.

What’s your background?

I worked in banking for 11 years, which is when I studied for my degree in Business and Finance. Since then, much of my working life has been in the organic food sector. I ran my own organic retail shops in both UK and in France where I lived for 10 years. My company had a successful UK organic food brand which made it to the shelves of several major supermarkets as well as being sold to the independent trade. Since 2013 I have worked with a number of community energy organisations, campaigning for a large wind farm in Hampshire and solar sites in North Devon. Now I mostly concentrate on energy efficiency and alleviating fuel poverty in private homes.

What motivated you to join ECOE?

ECOE is one of the leading community energy organisations in the South West, and when an opportunity arose to join the Healthy Homes team and develop the service into Mid and East Devon, it was too good to miss. The ECOE team are a brilliant bunch of hard working people who have achieved so much in such a short period of time,  and I’m very proud to now be one of team.

What should members and supporters talk to you about if they bump into you?

My earliest memories are of country walks with my family. This sparked an early interest in nature, especially birds and flowers. I also have been a keen amateur photographer from a young age.  Nowadays I am a Devon Wildlife Trust  and a Devon Birds Member. You’ll find me at many of the public events held by both of these organisations, always with a camera in my hand! I love food – local, seasonal, and organic of course! I enjoy all kinds of live music. Also, I spend a lot of time in the garden and at ‘open gardens’, and when time allows. I adore travelling and exploring new places.  I’m also just about to publish a book – of my great grandfather’s memoirs and drawings from his time served on the frontline during World War One.