The team

Plymouth City Council provides staffing expertise to PEC and PEC Renewables under a shared services agreement. Whilst the Board run the organisation, the following team members advise them and provide the day-to-day operation, management and front line services.

Alistair Macpherson (CEO)

Since 2013 Alistair has led the development of PEC from a council initiative, into a big thinking multifaceted venture delivering targeted support to the fuel poor, and community owned alternatives to fossil fuels.

With a degree in Geography from Plymouth University, Alistair has a background in biodiversity and sustainable development projects for local authorities and third sector organisations in the UK and overseas. He currently also manages the Low Carbon City Team at Plymouth City Council.

Originally hailing from Essex, Alistair has raised his family in Devon and enjoys cycling, climbing, sailing and adventure! He loves mojitos, hates vegetables in cakes and looks like a dodgy car salesman in photos. Alistair sees Plymouth leading the way in the community energy revolution and is proud to be part of it.

Jen Coles

Jen works behind the scenes at PEC developing projects and services and advising the Board on subjects like switching, local supply and partnerships. Her job is really varied, in the last year she has spent time helping get the Energy Team set up, writing funding bids, developing business ideas and doing research about new ways PEC can help people save money and benefit from local energy generation.

She is very motivated by climate change and believes that much of the unfairness and inequality we see in our communities is strongly linked with the environmental crisis unfolding in our world. What she loves about PEC is that all its projects help to reduce environmental impact as well as empowering local people and challenging unfairness.

Jen has a master’s degree in architecture, energy and environment studies and her research focused on community energy and local planning. Over the years she’s worked in event management, waste management, environmental education, caring for disabled children, on a farm and she used to be in the circus!

Helen Griffin

Helen joined the PEC team in 2013 and received a baptism of fire with the development of the first share offer! She has rapidly developed extensive skills in all aspects of community renewables and has become one of the team leads and core negotiators on renewable energy projects. Helen oversees the day-to-day management of exiting installations as well as leading on the Ernesettle solar project.

After completing a degree in Meterology & Oceanography from University of East Anglia, she completed a pHD in Past Climate Change at the National Oceanography Centre and went on to work in Planning and Performance at Somerset County Council before joining PEC. Originally from London, Helen now calls Exeter home and loves getting out onto the moors, getting on her bike, spending time with her family and playing the cello for Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra.

She believes that we have it in our power to transfer to a largely renewable energy system and will continue to strive to show national government how doing this on a community level can play a significant role.

Paul Elliot

Paul spends his time at PEC untangling government policy and weaving it into deliverable schemes that make a real difference to domestic energy use, carbon emissions, and fuel poverty. Currently he manages the external wall insulation program, the Fuel Debt service, and the Healthy Homes programme.

What really floats Paul’s boat is PEC’s ability to help people with such a diverse range of services, from getting the warm homes discount for someone struggling to pay their fuel bills, to receiving a £20k share investment from a housing association – it’s a multi-faceted approach for one common good.

Before becoming a member of PEC Paul worked within the housing and the recycling departments of Plymouth City Council, striving to improve the residents local environment, whilst keeping the bigger picture in mind. You can see Paul speak about his role with PEC here

Jake Ellis

Jake started with PEC as a Home Energy Marketing Apprentice in 2014 and has since been appointed as a Case Worker on the Healthy Homes programme. He loves the diversity of his day-to-day role with PEC – ranging from helping people with their energy related problems to spreading awareness of PEC and the services provided within the community. The levels of job satisfaction that he gets from helping people turn their situation around is unlike anything he has ever felt before. He is passionate about PEC because of all of the fantastic and necessary work that it does for the residents of Plymouth.

Jake is proudly Plymouth born & bred. Before he worked for PEC, he studied A Levels as St Boniface’s College and worked as a bartender at Plymouth Argyle.

Mel Birwe

Mel currently provides the marketing and member support services for PEC and PEC Renewables whilst Jemma is away travelling the world. Her role involves management of the website, social media channels, member communications and governance, media and public relations, marketing of specific services and campaigns and event organisation.

With a degree in planning Mel has previously project managed the delivery of physical regeneration projects in Berlin, Hamburg, Newport, Gloucester and Bath. After relocating to Plymouth in 2014 she started to support the marketing team of Exeter Street Food, organising and marketing their regular Street Food Events.
As a passionate environmentalist, cyclist, solar panel owner, Low Carbon DIY refurbisher and a passion for work in and with local communities the opportunity to support PEC in what they do seemed like the perfect way to combine personal passion and work.
She started with PEC in September 2016 and is thoroughly enjoying to support the great efforts of the team and all members to deliver a low Carbon Future.

Clare Mains

Clare is the Project Manager for Warm and Well, a 4 year, Big Lottery funded project to tackle fuel poverty alongside residents who have disabilities. She also manages the Energy Team – PEC advisors and volunteers who help Plymouth residents with their energy issues. She is immensely proud of the team, their work and its growing services, which now include income maximisation, mediation and prevention work with organisations in the city.

Clare has lived in Plymouth since 2011 and came to the area from Norfolk, where she led campaigns for biodiversity organisations, local authorities and charities. She is now one of PEC’s experts on funding bids.
When it comes to work, she is passionate about joining up local services to reach the people in need of them. Outside of work, she’s a little green fingered and handy with a paint brush.

“I’m lucky enough to go out each day and meet people who want to make life better for themselves and for those around them. What more could I ask?“

Debbie Malone

Plymouth born and bred, Debbie started an energy marketing apprenticeship with PEC in 2014 after deciding that it was time for a change from her 16 year role as a manager at Tesco’s. She adapted quickly to her new role and helped to establish the Home Energy Team. Debbie oozes empathy and compassion and instills immediate trust with her caring, friendly nature. As an apprentice she carried out over 70 home visits, helped to train 50 volunteers and attended over 50 events promoting PEC.

Debbie has progressed from her apprenticeship and is now employed as energy advisor for PEC. She gets great job satisfaction from actually being able to help people who are in fuel poverty. She lives in Plymouth with her family and when she isn’t providing life-changing help to those who need it, she enjoys keeping fit, running and dog walking (successfully completely the Plymouth half-marathon four times and the Commando challenge twice).

Cat Orr

Cat works alongside Jake as a caseworker for the Healthy Homes programme; working with residents who have health complaints aggravated by cold, damp living conditions and making changes to their homes that will have a positive influence on their health. Cat worked at Devon County Council after completing a history degree from King’s College in London. After the fast pace of London life, she is now enjoying the peace living in the middle of nowhere in Devon! She enjoys the outdoors, loves walking on Dartmoor, running, cooking, baking and brewing ales and ciders.

She is passionate about making real changes in people’s lives across Plymouth whether it be organising physical changes to their home in order to improve their health or their wallet.

Jon Selman

Jon has been with PEC since the beginning and was involved in the preparatory work leading to the establishment of PEC and PEC Renewables, including the development of initial business plans, governance and delivery of various project programmes. He has provided mentoring support to other community energy groups and is a licensed practitioner for the Community Shares ‘Standard Mark’. He oversees the contractual requirements and installation of the renewables projects delivered by PEC Renewables.

He has previous (and on-going) experience of dealing with energy related issues in a planning capacity, from policy through to negotiations including with district heating, onsite renewables and solar master-planning. He also has social enterprise experience, including governance, business planning, project delivery and community engagement.

His background is in urban design, planning, including preparation of site guidance and area-based policy, as well as attendance as expert witness for planning inquiries. He is a chartered landscape architect, with over 20 years’ experience of design, negotiation and project delivery of environmental projects.