About us

Energise Barnsley has been setup with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver community owned renewable energy and heating projects across the borough


Energise Barnsley has been developed through the partnership of several organisations and individuals who are collectively working together to help deliver lasting social impact across the Barnsley area.

Project Partners

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Barnsley Council owns the assets where the solar PV is installed, and is the signatory to the solar licence and lease, between Energise Barnsley and the Council. The Council has worked hard with the Energise Barnsley team to develop protections within the solar licence and lease, to give robust protection for the cash flow over the project life.

Generation Community Ventures

GCV is the development arm of Gen Community, capitalised in 2015 by two leading charitable foundations, with the purpose to promote, develop and deliver community owned renewable energy, energy efficiency and heat projects nationally.  Energise Barnsley uses Gen Community’s ‘‘Community Energy Model Rules 2015’ registered with the FCA. 


Ignite is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy. Ignite invests people and money into emerging and mature organisations that have a clear vision of how they benefit society. Ignite made its largest investment to date by making a £2 million underwriting facility available to Energise Barnsley. Without this facility the domestic solar PV installations in late 2015 could not have gone ahead before the reduction in feed it tariff subsidy.

British Gas Solar

BG is the solar PV contractor to the project, and responsible for the solar PV design, installation and ongoing operations and maintenance. Furthermore, BG provides performance guarantees and warranties for the solar PV assets.

Board Members

Wendy Lowder – Executive Director – Adults & Communities

Acting Director of Communities, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Wendy has worked in Barnsley for the last 12 years. Her work brings her into contact with many people and groups across the borough all working hard to create a strong and vibrant borough. Wendy loves building partnerships as she is a strong believer that generally we achieve so much more when people pull together in the same direction.

John Christopher Townend

I am 75 years of age and reside in Carlton where I am secretary of the Carlton Village Community Group. I have been a volunteer for over 10 years previously a board member of Berneslai Homes locally and nationally board member of TAROE (Tenants and Residents Organisation of England) so I’m versed in the requirements of governance and the responsibilities that go with it. My home may not fall under the pre-requisites that Energise Barnsley required for solar power, so I have no conflicts of interest other than to serve the community of Barnsley.

Elaine Marsh

I am a senior citizen, retired NHS secretary. I have been an involved tenant with Berneslai Homes since it’s inception, I was originally a Board Member on the North Board and then co-opted on to the Main Board when John Parkinson was Chair. I have been involved with the Tenant Federation and with the Service Excellence Programme and latterly taking a keen interest with Energise Barnsley being fortunate to have both solar panels and the battery which I have helped to promote by use of social media ie tv, radio and press.
I am also involved with Penistone/Oxspring community, PACT, Church, WI and Pop In club.

David Malsom

Group Leader Housing and Energy: Barnsley Council:
David is a chartered banker and a member of the Institute Environmental Management and Assessment. Since leaving financial services he has worked in the community and voluntary sector in both housing and environmental roles focusing on energy efficiency for both domestic and non-domestic users. David leads on the Council’s private sector housing initiatives and co coordinating the Council’s response to energy and climate change matters

Jeremy Sykes

Service Director Assets, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Jeremy originates from Barnsley has worked for the council for 36 years.  A Chartered Water & Environmental Manager and Chartered Environmentalist he is passionate about reducing energy usage and installing low carbon technologies in buildings.  Jeremy has track record in the successful delivery of sustainable and renewable energy projects across the borough, which contributed to the council winning the prestigious Ashden Award in 2006.

Andy Heald

Director, Generation Community and Gen Community Ventures

Andy holds an MSc Energy, Environmental Technology & Economics (Merit) from City University, London, a Securities Diploma and a BA Hons Political Theory & Economics (1993) from Liverpool University. He is the co-founder of Generation Community and Gen Community Ventures, and has been working in community energy since 2010.

Andy leads the innovation projects for Energise Barnsley and is a member of the Energy Network Association Distributed Energy Steering Group, as the representative for Community Energy England.

For enquiries contact: andy.energisebarnsley@gmail.com

“We see three things that are unique. Firstly, the team’s ambition – we see a lot of small community projects but nothing at this scale. Secondly, the fact they’ve really thought through the social impact – more so than the average proposal. It’s not only free electricity for low-income households, there’s a considerable amount of money going into the community fund as well. And lastly the attention to detail that has been paid to governance. How the Community Benefit Society is structured is very mature and how the different stakeholders will work together has been thought through very well.”

Sam Salisbury, Ignite