Our Team


Circ_Team_GillW_1Gill Wyatt runs Creating Synergies – a facilitation, community research and consultancy service. Her recent work has included project management and community facilitation for energy projects in Exeter including LEAF Energy-in-the-home and Exe-Hydro. Gill is inspired by people working together to find transformative opportunities that address the global challenges of the 21st century. She sees community energy as a way of bringing communities together to find solutions that are good for all.

Circ_Team_Hertha_1Hertha Taverner-Wood is a qualified engineer working for Hydromatch Consulting, a renewable energy company specialising in domestic/community scale hydropower. Her experience also includes installing micro-wind turbines, solar thermal systems, solar PV and ground source heat pumps. As a volunteer with the Woodcraft Folk, she’s been involved with energy efficiency and carbon engagement projects. She is enthusiastic about the potential of co-operatives and community ownership from having lived in housing co-ops.

Sonya_300x300_1Sonya Bedford is a partner at Stephens Scown solicitors and head of their Renewable Energy Team with experience of wind, solar PV, anaerobic digestion, biomass and hydro installations. Currently she is assisting resolving grid capacity issues in the South West and nationwide. She is a non-executive director of Regen SW and taking a MSc in Renewable Energy at the Centre for Alternative Technology. In her spare time Sonya is a mum and sings with her band Insomniac Jack.

Circ_Team_GillO_1Patrick Devine-Wright is a Professor in the Geography Department at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on social, psychological and geographical aspects of the transition to low carbon energy sources, including community-led energy projects and the role of place attachment in explaining community responses to company-led projects. He has advised governments and companies in the UK and Ireland, and is convinced that communities should play a central role in the move away from fossil-fuel energy towards renewable energy sources.

Circ_Team_Griff_1Alastair Mumford has been involved in the renewables sector for some time and now works as the Corporate Energy Manager for Devon County Council. Alastair is keen to see renewables and energy efficiency grow in the city and has a personal interest in social enterprises and co-operatives, having been a director and co-founder of Topsham Ales and a Director for Co-cars, Exeter’s co-operative car club.

Tara Bowers is an entrepreneur with 20 years experience of working in the ‘eco’ sector. As well as running her own organic food business, Tara has in more recent years worked with Basingstoke Transition Network, Hampshire Women’s Enviroment Network, Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op and since moving to Devon has worked with 361 Energy before joining ECOE. In her spare time she champions conservation, biodiversity and sustainability.

Andy Extance is a science journalist with bylines in The Guardian, New Scientist, and many other outlets. He is treasurer of the Association of British Science Writers, and director of editorial services company Exeter Empirical. Before that Andy was group leader at Cornwall-based pharmaceutical laboratory Tripos Discovery Research, which included operational management within a £90 million contract. He believes ECOE enables Devon to fight climate change while helping with every day issues.

David Thompson is an independent management consultant specialising in organisation design. He was one of the first volunteers at the Centre for Alternative Technology, is involved in the Transition movement and has investments in various renewable energy and social enterprises including Bristol Energy Cooperative, Dart Renewables and Ecotricity. David believes that decentralised energy production is essential in reducing fossil fuel dependence and supports the community focus of Exeter Community Energy.

Vicky Vallis works in finance at Pennon Group. She has worked in corporate finance for most of her career, becoming qualified in corporate treasury. She became a member of ECOE at the time of the first share issue and always read the newsletters and updates with interest. Vicky thought it was amazing how a group built an energy company from scratch and provide a real alternative to ‘big energy’ whilst giving something back to the community.

Joe Clarke works for Exeter-based charity SWGfL, which aims to ensure everyone can benefit from technology free from harm and empowers them to keep themselves and the people around them safe online. ECOE engages Joe’s general interest in sustainability and renewable energy. Joe also likes ECOE’s mission to empower community ownership, circular economies and decentralisation. Outside of his work in marketing, Joe enjoys spending time outdoors, playing football and attending gigs.

Matt Bellamy is head of business development at City Science, an Exeter-based technology company developing data-tools and software solutions to optimise city systems. He spent a large part of my career at Centrica where he worked across services and new technologies. He previously owned his own electrical company and specialised in renewable energy such as Solar PV, Geothermal heat pumps, and held large contracts with local authorities.




Project officer

Alan DenbighAlan Denbigh qualified as a mechanical engineer when there were few jobs in renewable energy. He moved into project management software then went on to using comms to enable remote working, partly as a way to reduce transport costs. More recently he worked at Exeter University supporting environmental research, including on marine plastics and energy.  Alan chairs the Slapton Line Partnership, addressing coastal change and adapting to it.

Healthy Homes for Wellbeing

Sarah Rock-Evans has a degree in Ecology but after graduating she trained as a Chartered Surveyor in rural estate management. Having worked in Scotland for 11 years she relocated with her husband to Devon in 2012 where she worked for the Environment Agency on property matters related to flood defence work. She then took a few years out to be a full-time Mum before joining ECOE in February 2019.


Matthew Axe has a background managing and researching environmental and sustainability matters. As a mature student he took a degree in countryside management, followed by a research PhD in hedgerow carbon sequestration. Prior to that he worked in the public sector both as an environmental and energy adviser, and as an assistant property manager. He joined ECOE in November 2018.