About us

Our Directors

Frank Callus

Frank worked in secondary education for twenty-four years, ten of them as Deputy Head in the South Wales valleys. After a few years working within the local authority he was seconded, as Strategic Programme Manager, to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Heads of the Valleys Programme [2007-12]. The programme was responsible for the social and economic regeneration of the north Gwent and Glamorgan valleys following the closure of the Ebbw Vale steelworks. Some of the work of this programme included the initial Arbed scheme, improving public housing stock with renewable energy systems, and the creation of the British Gas Skills Academy in Tredegar. Following early retirement he worked as a Cluster Manager for the Community First programme in Bridgend. He maintains an active interest in education and training as well as issues associated with economic and social regeneration.

Tony Cooke

Tony has been closely following the development of Community Energy groups for several years and is a member of Bath and West Community Energy, Brighton Energy Co-op, Brixton Solar and Osney Lock Hydro. As cross-college “sustainability champion” he worked with the estates manager of Coleg Glan Hafren to make the college’s operations more sustainable. This included organising and gaining funding for voltage optimisation equipment for the 3 main college sites, reducing electricity consumption by over 6%. He has a Master’s in Software Engineering. At Coleg Glan Hafren and then Cardiff and Vale College, he was a lecturer in computing until retiring from that in 2014 to spend more time on developing Community Energy.

Emrys Barnes

Emrys grew up in Penarth, and now lives and works in Cardiff. He graduated with a BA(hons) from Warwick University, where he was president of the yoga society and founded the university’s first secular meditation network. He went on to complete an internship with Oxfam Cymru as a campaigns and communications assistant, using different approaches to engage the public with Oxfam’s work, including social media and event management. He currently works as a team co-ordinator for the Arts Council of Wales and maintains an interest in community arts and engagement.

Patrick Champenois

Patrick has been the technical director for a Cardiff based solar energy company for the last 4 years and has a broad understanding of the renewable energy industry, along with specialised knowledge of solar photovoltaics and their deployment across scales. He believes that microgeneration – a decentralised energy infrastructure – is ideally suited to the future energy needs of our communities; and that the community ownership model – and cooperatives – provide a sustainable and secure alternative to the large utility companies and centralised power generation.