PEC Board of Directors

The PEC Board is made up of one Plymouth City Council representative and up to eight elected members. Up to two co-opted Directors can also be invited to the Board when specific skills and expertise are required. They attend regular meetings on a voluntary basis.

The current Board of Directors are:


Ian Hutchcroft (Chair)

Ian was elected to the PEC Board in 2016 and has over 25 years’ experience of working to deliver low carbon energy systems. He was Energy Saving Trust’s Head of Delivery (England) and Devon County Council’s Sustainable Prosperity Manager and now works independently to develop new ways of delivering low carbon buildings. All together he has brought over £20m of innovation funding into the local energy sector.

Amongst other work Ian has led the ‘Ready for Retrofit’ initiative, which supported 400 SW businesses, created 274 jobs and installed 1,300 energy measures. He also led the Zero Energy Building Catalyst, to demonstrate the possibility to achieve net zero energy retrofit without subsidy.

He worked as head consultant for North Devon Council’s Health, Housing and Energy Strategy and as south of England contract manager for the Government’s Energy Saving Advice Service. Ian has joined the Board to support PEC in the delivery of a low carbon future and in sustaining financial security.


Barbara Hampson (Vice Chair)

Barbara has lived in Plymouth with her two sons for 13 years. She is a qualified teacher, with experience in educational settings for 30 years and has a keen interest in energy, the built environment and climate change.

Barbara is currently studying for an MA in Architectural Conservation (part time) and has a BA in Architectural Technology and the Environment and Business Office Information Systems from Plymouth University.

She is an active volunteer and community activist with Plymouth Energy Community, but also with Transition Plymouth; Stonehouse Timebank; Stonehouse Action; Take A Part; Food Bank; Friends of Ham Woods and Little Patch of Ground Efford.

In 2014, Barbara was awarded 2014 UK Community Energy ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award. Barbara was a founder Director of PEC and has served on the Board since 2013. She is currently Deputy Chair.


Councillor Pam Buchan

Councillor Pam Buchan (Labour Party, Honicknowle Ward) was elected to council in May 2018 and is Plymouth City Council’s appointed member on the PEC board. She is currently pursuing an ESRC funded PhD at Exeter University in the strand of Environment, Energy and Resilience, having also completed an MRes in the subject and MSc in Coastal Zone Management. Originally a marine biologist, Pam is researching citizenship action in relation to the marine environment. This interdisciplinary research is investigating in what ways individuals act to improve the health of the marine environment, and the motivations and experiences that shape these actions.

Following a career as a science communicator and volunteer manager, Pam is passionate about public participation and community-led initiatives, particularly those with an environmental theme. Pam is trustee (former Chair) of the marine conservation charitable trust Sea-Changers, trustee of Honicknowle-based youth charity, Commnet and has been mentoring with the Social Mobility Foundation since 2014.


Charlotte Holloway

Charlotte recently returned to her home city of Plymouth after a decade of working in national policy, advocacy and research roles in London.

Currently the South West Area Manager for the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce, she served for three years as Policy Director for national trade body techUK, representing the interests of the UK technology industry to policy-makers at local, national and international level. Charlotte serves on the Smart London Board for Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, which includes energy infrastructure as part of the Smart London plan. In 2017, she was awarded #36 most influential women in UK tech by Computer Weekly.

A member of the Cooperative Group, Digital Plymouth and on the Council’s Connected Plymouth working group, Charlotte is well networked at local and national level, and enjoys helping people and ideas connect for positive action. She brings her skills in communications, policy and advocacy to PEC and is a vocal champion for how a forward-looking cooperative approach to energy can overcome issues faced by many Plymouth consumers.

Charlotte was elected to PEC’s board of directors in 2017.


Simon Nicholls

For many years Simon has been advising on and delivering power generation projects that reduce both emissions and costs for clients. He is managing director of the Devon Power Group of companies. Among this group Devon Power Ltd is a specialist renewable energy developer with projects across the Southwest of England and beyond. Through Devon Power Simon has enabled clients to realise the potential of their property and assets in generating and utilising renewable power or improving energy efficiency.

Simon has wide experience providing strategic legal and commercial advice for energy projects. This includes systems ranging from 10 kW up to 10MW across a range of technologies in the UK and abroad. He is also well placed to access and advise on innovative funding models tailored to specific project circumstances. His work has assisted both public and private sector organisations.

With decades of experience in development, delivery and operation of energy projects Simon has a wealth of skills and connections of benefit to PEC along with a passion for their objectives. He is motivated to contribute to the development of new opportunities that will benefit people in the community and wider society.

Simon was elected to PEC’s board of directors in 2017. He also represents PEC on the PEC Renewables Board.


Lee Richards

Lee is a Senior Research Manager at the University of Plymouth. He has previously worked as Regen SW’s onshore renewables lead and managed work within the large-scale onshore renewables, microgeneration and built environment sectors.

He has over 9 years’ experience in the renewables industry and has developed the capabilities of businesses and communities to deploy more renewable and energy efficiency technologies. He has extensive knowledge of sustainable energy and low carbon policy, legislation, supply chain and technical development and deployment. Lee helped to develop and manage the £6.3M Ready for Retrofit programme, one of the UK’s largest European Regional Development Fund business support programmes, installing over 1700 domestic energy efficiency technologies.

Lee is from Plymouth and as keen advocate of developing the low carbon economy he wants the city to lead in community led renewable energy initiatives.

He was voted to the PEC Board in 2017, was co-opted to the PEC Renewables Board in 2015 and now acts as PEC’s representative on the PEC Renewables Board. He is also the Chair of Ernesettle Community Solar Ltd.


Sabine Pahl

Sabine is an academic at the University of Plymouth. She specialises in perception and behaviour change and has been involved in applied research on energy for many years. She lead on the energy visualisation project “eViz”, running field studies with the Eden Project, DECC, PEC and Plymouth City Council, demonstrating using thermal imaging as a method of communicating heat loss to home owners leads to real carbon savings. She is also working on an on-going European H2020 project investigating the use of a `serious game’ for engaging social housing tenants with energy issues. As part of that, the link between fuel poverty and health and well-being is being investigated.

Sabine brings this knowledge and experience in social and behavioural processes to PEC to maximise ‘people power’ in order to reduce energy bills, improve energy efficiency and have more green, sustainable energy in Plymouth.

Sabine was voted to the Board in 2017.


Dave Pearce

Dave is the Managing Director of Actuate Marketing, a successful and growing communications agency based in Plymouth. Actuate specialises in marketing strategy, research and digital media, all skills they brought to the table when helping PEC during their initial set-up through to continuing to support PEC currently. Through this process, Dave has gained a thorough understanding of what members want from the organisation, the challenges PEC faced and how they could be addressed.

He has lived in Plymouth for over 20 years and has over 30 years of experience in commercial and marketing roles at senior and director levels.

Dave is passionate about and committed to supporting the values and ethos of PEC and the transformation it can bring to the city and its residents. “PEC has started to make a real mark in the community and sustainable energy market with their award-winning approach: the future looks bright for the people of Plymouth.”

Dave was elected at the 2014 AGM.


Chris Penberthy

Councillor Chris Penberthy (Labour and Co-operative, St Peter and the Waterfront) was a member of Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet from 2012-2016. His portfolio has included housing, social enterprise development and support, community safety, neighbourhood working, child poverty, welfare policy and financial inclusion. Chris has spent most of his working life in charities including as Chief Executive of Volunteer Development England. He was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the voluntary and community sector.

Chris has held a variety of trusteeships and directorships in charities and social enterprises.
He has previously been appointed by Plymouth City Council to the Boards of the Millfields Community Economic Development Trust CIC, and Plymouth Municipal Charities. Chris is a Governor of Plymouth College of Art and is also Vice Chair of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network and Chair of its Values and Principles Board.

Chris has served on the PEC Board, either as PCC representative or as an elected member since 2013. He is also a Director of PEC Renewables and Ernesettle Community Solar.


Official documentation

PEC Society Rules

PEC Directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2014
PEC Directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2015
PEC Directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2016
PEC Directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2017
PEC Directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2018

Click on the links below to see minutes, election results and outcomes from Annual General Meetings:

PEC AGM 2014
PEC AGM 2015
PEC AGM 2016
PEC AGM 2017 held as part of the larger ‘Taking the Power Back’ event. Read a summary and see presentations and photos from the event here.