FRECo is a small but important step towards a secure energy future for Frome. We enable the local community to invest in clean, renewable energy through community shares. We are a not for profit, democratic organisation; any surplus is reinvested in a community fund to support energy saving projects. Recent projects include: Frome Open Homes and Switch and Save. FRECo was founded through Sustainable Frome and we are working in partnership with Bath and West Community Energy and Mongoose Energy.
Anna Francis – Chair
Anna has over 15 years experience working in the sustainability sector and is an experienced Director and project manager. Anna is a founding Director of FRECo and secured a range of external grants to run projects around fuel poverty, Open Homes, energy efficiency, renewables and community engagement. She also managed FRECo’s first share issue in 2015 which raised £280,000 in four days and was hugely over subscribed.
She has raised almost £2m in the past few years for community projects and has set up successful social enterprises such as Sutton Community Farm and SHARE the UK’s first share shop. She also works for Frome Town Council as their Resilience Manager and the council has been awarded numerous awards for this work around energy, including Regen South West’s Most Proactive Public Sector Body. She is a chartered Environmentalist, an Energy Performance Assessor and previously a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor. She has is passionate about community energy and the transition towards a low carbon community.
Peter Macfadyen – Director
Peter Macfadyen founded Sustainable Frome in 2006 as a vehicle to promote ‘green’ ideas and support those in the community promoting ways to reduce our carbon footprint. In 2011 he became a town councilor in Frome and has led a range of initiatives to ensure the town takes every opportunity available in these areas – recognised in Frome Council recently winning the South West Green Energy Award. Peter has had personal experience of owning and running solar systems for over 30 years.
Within Frome he has been a trustee and director of a number of charities and community groups engaged in carrying out services and in both raising and distributing funds. In parallel Peter co-directs a funeral company and works has an international development consultant for 25 years. Overall, a collection of activity which provides considerable experience in dealing with both people and finance.
Pete Capener – Director
Pete has worked in the sustainable energy field for nearly 30 years. He led the initial growth of the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol where he was chief executive. As well as working at a local level with communities, Pete has been involved in many national community support initiatives. He is chair of Bath and West Community Energy and Director of Community Energy England, is a member of the ministerial Community Energy Contact Group and has been advising government during the development of the first ever UK Community Energy Strategy. He was recently awarded an MBE for ‘services to sustainable energy’ and was voted Community Energy Leader of the Year at the UK Community Energy awards.
Peter Andrews – Director
Peter was a founder director of BWCE and has been closely involved in its successful fundraising activities and as well as those of Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy and Low Carbon Gordano. He has also been involved in many community and sustainability projects. He is currently a sustainability advisor to the B&NES Local Strategic Partnership and runs a small publishing company eco-logic books.
Alison Turnbull – Director
Alison Turnbull is one of Mongoose Energy’s main project developers. She has worked in the renewable energy industry for 20 years. Alison was recently responsible for overseeing the project development on The Mead Primary School – solar 49kW, Peasedown St John Primary School – solar 38kW and the Chelworth Solar Array – 1MW solar.
FRECo is working closely with Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) and Mongoose Energy and benefiting from their expertise in clean energy installations. BWCE was set up in 2010 to pursue its own projects and lend its expertise to other Community Benefit Societies. To date, over its own and supported projects, BWCE has raised over £10 million and installed over 6MW of solar power. BWCE has recently transferred the development side of its activities to a new co-operative company, Mongoose Energy. Mongoose Energy’s remit is to work with other community companies in developing new installations, raising finance and project and asset management. Mongoose Energy has a renewable 5 year contract with FRECo to manage their installed solar assets for which they will be 1% of capex. Further details about BWCE and Mongoose Energy can be found at bwce.coop and mongooseenergy.coop