Andy Extance is a science journalist with bylines in The Guardian, New Scientist, and many other outlets. He is chair 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.

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.

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.

Rory McNeile is an associate tutor with the University of Exeter Graduate School of Education. He previously served in the Royal Navy, and was a geography teacher at Uffculme School. As Chair of Newtown Community Association in Exeter, he led the project to build a new energy-efficient community centre in Belmont Park.


Stacia RyderStacia Ryder is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Geography Department at the University of Exeter. She received her PhD in Sociology in 2019 from Colorado State University. Her current work is focused on using theoretical frameworks of power and an environmental justice lens to explore institutions, decision-making processes, place attachment, community engagement and collective action in the context of energy policy across multiple governance scales. Stacia moved to England in July 2019. In her spare time, Stacia likes traveling and being active outdoors.


Trevor Crawford is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 15 years experience, working across a range of industries, including utilites, education and broadcasting. Having worked on fuel poverty contracts while at British Gas, which included financial modelling to support bids and grant funds, he has a keen interest in ensuring households maximise funding opportunities available to maintain warm and energy efficient homes. Trevor is keen to support Exeter Community Energy to provide cleaner energy solutions to a wider footprint within Exeter and beyond.


Lenka Hill is a chartered accountant, currently working as an auditor for the European Court of Auditors. Previously, she worked for the National Audit Office where she audited amongst others UK Research and Innovation and DEFRA. At ECA, her focus is on the sustainable use of natural resources, including audits into energy efficiency and agricultural schemes across European Union. In her spare time, she loves surfing, skiing and travelling.


Operations and Maintenance Co-ordinator

ECOE's new team member Margaret Pickering

Margaret Pickering has a Psychology degree, but worked in IT project management roles, initially for BT and Oxfam. In 2007 she and her partner renovated a rectory in Cornwall, and ran it as a guest house. They retired to Exeter in 2017.  Since then she has been involved in voluntary work. Margaret joined ECOE in January 2020 as Operations and Maintenance Co-ordinator. She also supports other ECOE projects, including Healthy Homes for Wellbeing.


Healthy Homes for Wellbeing
Benefits Advisor

ECOE's new team member Vickie Mogford

Vickie Mogford comes to ECOE from Age UK, where she worked with pensioners and carers and helping clear a path through the multitudes of paperwork and benefit applications. For ECOE, she checks the eligibility of means and non-means tested benefits. She has a degree in psychology and previously worked in marketing and product design for a manufacturing firm. She joined ECOE at the beginning of January 2021.

Home Energy Advisors


Gill 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.

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.