Senior Management Team

Simon Roberts OBE
Chief Executive

Simon has been helping people, organisations and policy-makers to develop effective responses to the threat of climate change and the misery of cold homes for more than 25 years.

He became CSE's Chief Executive in 2002 after two previous spells at CSE punctuated by five years running Friends of the Earth's national energy campaign and senior management roles at the leading European ethical bank, Triodos Bank.

Simon has been involved in CSE's recent work on:

  • improving community engagement with renewable energy planning and development
  • exploring consumer, social and community dimensions of the development of smarter energy networks and the role out of smart meters, including leading the consumer review for Which? (2011)
  • analysing the distributional impacts of UK carbon reduction policies and programmes
  • developing viable local responses to the opportunities created by the Green Deal
  • helping Bristol City Council develop its plans to become a genuinely low carbon city

Simon is non-executive Chair of the Board of Triodos Renewables Plc, the UK’s most owned renewable energy investment fund, with a community of more than 5,000 shareholders. He has been a non-executive director of the company since 2009.

Simon is a specialist advisor to a wide range of government and academic bodies, including Ofgem (where he sits on its Consumer Challenge Group), the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and Universities of Cardiff, Exeter, Sussex and East Anglia. He served on the Government’s Renewables Advisory Board between 2002 - 2010 where he led work on financing issues and on community engagement. In March 2013 he was appointed as a topic expert for the NICE Public Health Advisory Committee tasked with developing health sector guidance on tackling excess winter deaths and the health impacts of cold homes.

Simon began working in sustainable energy in 1985 as a volunteer for Bristol Energy Centre, a trading company of the Urban Centre for Appropriate Technology, as CSE was then known. He soon took up the role of coordinating the Centre's energy advice service and developed its energy awareness training.

He then moved to Friends of the Earth (FoE), where he spent five years leading its national energy campaign, developing in particular its work on renewables and energy efficiency. In 1989 he co-authored, with Professor Tim Jackson, FoE's ground-breaking report, Getting Out of the Greenhouse, which included the UK's first carbon emissions abatement cost-curve. He then moved into more practical work as Business Development Director for The Energy Club. With the demise of this innovative energy services company, he set up and led his own energy consultancy, Energy Initiatives.

During his four years as Commercial Manager and Head of Personal Banking for Triodos Bank, Simon arranged renewable energy project finance, acted as Managing Director of its renewable energy investment fund, and was lead corporate finance advisor to the first share issue of The Ethical Property Company Plc. He also helped the Bank secure two Guardian & Observer Consumer Finance Awards.

Simon has a BA (Hons) in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford. He was elected a Fellow of the Energy Institute in 2007 and of the RSA in 2009. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Society for the Environment in 2011.

Simon received an OBE for services to renewable energy in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

simon.roberts@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1441

Rachel Coxcoon
Head of Local & Community Empowerment

Rachel joined CSE in May 2005, and initially worked on project development at CSE. In 2008 she developed the proposal for CSE’s PlanLoCaL programme, and transferred to a project management role in order to manage the programme when funding was secured. She became CSE’s Head of Local and Community Empowerment in April 2011.

PlanLoCaL (Planning for Low Carbon Living) is a three-year programme of work funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Projects within the programme include: the development of a DVD resource pack for communities wishing to establish community-owned renewable energy projects; a support website on low-carbon planning; an action research project working with a range of groups in Bath to produce planning policy guidance on how best to incorporate renewable energy in a heritage setting; and an ambitious community consultation process in an ex-mining area which aims to establish a Renewable Energy Action Area, enshrined in local planning policy.

As a Senior Development Manager, Rachel was the driving force behind the development of several of our biggest projects including Our Big Energy Challenge, and Warming Bristol. She also worked with the Forestry Commission and the offices of ten Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to access European Funding to establish the Coordinated Woodfuel Initiative, which supported the installation of domestic-scale biomass heating in the South West of England.

Rachel has a particular interest in the biomass industry, as, prior to joining CSE, she worked in commercial forestry for six years and undertook research in China on short-rotation forestry for fuel production.

Rachel has a BSc in Environmental Science, an MSc in Forest Management and an MA in Environment, Policy and Society.

rachel.coxcoon@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1426 | View Rachel's team

Sarah Frankish
Head of Finance & Human Resources

Sarah has many years' experience of office and financial management, initially employed by Bristol Energy Centre, the trading company of the Centre for Sustainable Energy in 1993.

Together with the Chief Executive, she has responsibility for the financial management of the organisation. She is ultimately responsible to the trustee body, reporting to them at quarterly finance meetings. As one of the senior management team, she is involved with the strategic development of the charity.

Sarah has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Bristol and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of the West of England.

sarah.frankish@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1444 | View Sarah's team

Janine Michael
Head of Development & Communications

Janine has been Head of Development at the Centre for Sustainable Energy since May 2000 and oversees all new project development and fundraising within the charity, from conception of a project idea to practical delivery.

Since joining CSE she has helped to diversify the range of funding sources for CSE's work which now span government departments, the energy industry, local government, charitable grants, lottery programmes and consultancy contracts. She has also worked on a range of CSE projects including the early development of the Green Communities network, guidance for local authorities on implementing carbon reduction activity and authored guidance on accessing different funding sources to implement energy projects. She also designed, set up and managed Bristol Switch and Save, the city’s first collective buying scheme for gas and electricity for local households.

Janine has been involved in energy efficiency and sustainable energy issues since the early 1990s. Prior to joining CSE, she worked for a range of sustainable energy organisations, including an energy consultancy, the Building Research Establishment and the former Energy Efficiency Office of the Department of the Environment. She has been responsible for producing best practice guidance for new and refurbished housing, helped design national energy efficiency grant schemes and advised on public awareness campaigns. She has also worked with local authorities, energy rating companies, house builders and building societies to help deliver higher energy efficiency standards in new and existing housing.

Janine has an MSc in Energy Conservation and the Environment, and a BSc in Maths.

janine.michael@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1414 | View Janine's team

Ian Preston
Head of Household Energy Services

Ian joined CSE in 2001. He has more than a decade of experience working in sustainable energy practice and social research. His previous role as Senior Analyst covered research into fuel poverty, consumer behaviour, hard-to-treat housing issues and scheme evaluation. Ian’s particular skills include energy modelling, data collection, analysis and survey work.

Ian has considerable knowledge of energy policy, from the legislative framework to the practical on-the-ground delivery. He has been involved in the evaluation of a number of policies, including most recently CESP and the Energy Company Obligation, thus providing a working knowledge of the challenges facing householders and installers.

Ian is a leading expert on the distributional impacts of energy policy and his work in this area include: the development and application of the Distributional Impacts Model for Policy and Strategic Analysis; designing carbon taxation to protect low-income households for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s New Insights programme; examining the distributional impacts associated with UK Climate Change Policies; analysing the impact of the UK-wide feed-in tariff on low income consumers and researching into the nature, prevalence and distribution of fuel poverty in non-traditional homes in the UK.

Ian also has considerable expertise in energy and consumer behaviour, and projects in this area include: managing a trial of the Energy Saving Trust’s Market Segmentation Model; working with the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) and the Energy Saving Trust on a project for Consumer Focus to explore measures that might be supported under the Green Deal; managing Climate Change West, a multi-partner communications project to promote climate change awareness amongst the public and managing several studies examining consumer tariff-switching behaviour.

Prior to joining CSE Ian was based at the University of Birmingham Department of Public Health and Epidemiology as a researcher, and also worked as a project assistant at Ecotec.

Ian has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from the University of Birmingham and graduated in 1998. Ian is also a member of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes Fuel Poverty Strategy Group, National Right to Fuel Campaign, and Public Utilities Access Forum.

ian.preston@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1422 | View Ian's team

Joshua Thumim
Head of Research & Analysis

Joshua has extensive experience of research in the fields of renewable energy, energy policy-making and energy strategy. Before coming to CSE as Head of Research and Analysis, he was first Strategy Adviser and then Principal Policy Officer with regard to energy at the Greater London Authority, where he was involved in managing and designing a wide range of research and implementation projects around themes of renewable energy deployment, energy efficiency and fuel poverty.

Joshua'­s experience includes:

  • researching, collating, mapping and presenting energy and CO2 emissions data for use in the Mayor of London'­s Energy Strategy
  • analysing the effects of various energy policy scenarios in relation to climate change
  • providing energy expertise in planning negotiations and decisions
  • leading on policy input into the development of the Climate Change Agency
  • developing, fundraising and managing a London-wide study of the opportunities for community heating and CHP through biomass

A tangible example of Joshua's success in integrating the results of sustainable energy research projects into mainstream work of local energy developers and planning authorities, is the fact that 11 of the 36 London Boroughs now have energy planning policy documents based on work that Joshua pioneered between 2000 and 2005.

Joshua holds an MSc in environmental technology (specialising in energy policy) and a BSc (Hons) in chemistry. He has previously lived and worked in France and the USA, where he researched issues related to petroleum resource depletion and climate change.

joshua.thumim@cse.org.uk | 0117 934 1439 | View Joshua's team