Leanne Fischler

My role at Community Energy Scotland is to support community innovation projects underway in Orkney, especially the ReFLEX project. As part of this, I’m working with my CES colleagues to install energy monitors into community members’ homes that will produce data that can help ReFLEX to achieve its aims of prototyping an integrated, affordable, low-carbon energy system for the future.

I grew up between the island of Hoy and the mainland of Orkney; giving me a deep interest in how communities solve problems. I left Orkney to study a Product Design degree, with my particular focus being environmentally sustainable design and design methods that can empower communities. In my final year, I created a kit in which participants built miniature energy generators from scrap materials to demonstrate and document the power of location-specific problem solving.

In the years between leaving university and beginning at CES, I worked in foresight and futures design. I contributed to cultural works exploring and tackling the big issues of today: global heating and environmental degradation; the application of new technologies and the intersection of this with social issues and rising inequality. 

While living away from Orkney, I never lost my passion for community work. I sat on the board for a charity in Dundee; taught at a Glasgow makerspace; ran a program of community workshops for V&A Dundee and ran DIY solar panel building with energy literacy workshops for charity Demand Energy Equality in London. My growing interest in local energy issues then brought me back to Orkney and to Community Energy Scotland. 

Growing up on an island means I will always attribute a deep importance to supporting local communities in themselves addressing and solving the problems on their doorstep. I believe this way of working leads to the most efficient, nuanced and resilient outcomes.

I spend my spare time between my home craft studio and the sea. If the weather is nice, you’ll find me sailing, kayaking, swimming or learning to surf; and the rest (or most?) of the time I’ll be indoors making anything from flotsam jewellery to DIY electronics.

Fun fact about me: I worked as a spotlight operator lighting up the Queen during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow 2014—despite having no experience in theatre lighting whatsoever!

leanne.fischler@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07795 801814

Cat McGinley

I joined Community Energy Scotland in March 2022 and my role is to provide technical, community and project delivery support to a portfolio of Orkney energy projects, including Net Zero Islands and ReFLEX.

I completed my undergraduate degree in 2017 in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dundee. I then worked doing various jobs abroad, from teaching to project engineering. In 2020 I started my Masters in Marine Renewable Energy, at the Heriot-Watt University Orkney campus. During my Masters I worked part-time as a renewable heat consultant specialising in government subsidy schemes like the Renewable Heat Incentive.

For my dissertation I investigated within the subject area of skills and training for the Just Transition in Aberdeen. I believe that communities and people’s livelihoods should not be lost in the energy transition. My research work argues that the Just Transition concept should be a guiding principle for the growth of the wind energy sector in Aberdeen to ensure a fair and equitable transition for the city and its working communities.

I’m a keen environmental activist and I was involved in organising the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16), a side event of COP26, which was held in Glasgow early November 2021. COY serves as a space for capacity building and policy training, in order to prepare young people for their participation at COP.

I love the outdoors, if I’m not in the sea, you’ll find me looking out at sea for cetaceans as part of a citizen science project. If I am indoors you’ll find me cooking an Ottolenghi dish or watching some obscure world cinema.

catherine.mcginley@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07919 492318

Liam Templeton

My role at Community Energy Scotland is as N76 Energy in Motion Project Officer, where I support communities throughout the Nith Valley region to develop low carbon community transport initiatives.

I was born and raised in Dumfries and frequently spent the summer months of my most formative years in the rural parish of Closeburn. Eager to pursue a career in the conservation sector, I studied Zoology at the University of Glasgow before pivoting towards the Environmental Humanities via a Master’s degree from the university’s rural campus at the Crichton.

This shift in focus was partly inspired by a newfound appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of land art and environmental sculpture on display throughout the region, and based on the understanding of the climate crisis as an issue that requires radical social intervention as well as novel technological innovation.

I have a wealth of experience in community development from which to draw upon, having previously been involved in projects aimed at addressing issues of social injustice, food insecurity and transport inequity both in Dumfries and further afield.  Having grown up in the region, I feel a sense of obligation to apply my skills and experience to mediate positive social change for the benefit its current denizens and future generations alike.

I am an avid film photographer and bedroom music producer. I am also a lover of independent cinema and a patron of my local film theatre. I currently lives in Dumfries with my girlfriend and our dog Mango, and can often be found rummaging the local charity shops and car boot sales in search of a good bargain. 

liam.templeton@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone: 07810855714

Janet Foggie

I am a former parish minister in the church of Scotland who has been working on eco-focussed community building at the University of Stirling. I have been trained in coaching and in mediation and I bring a love of public speaking and communication to my new role.

I am so proud and excited to have been appointed as the new CEO for Community Energy Scotland. We have a demanding and challenging remit to enable Scotland’s communities to have renewable energy as part of their futures and I am thrilled to be part of that journey over the coming years.

I am absolutely delighted to be taking up this new role with Community Energy Scotland and look forward very much to our work in the years ahead. CES is very much a future focussed organisation and makes a unique contribution in developing partnership relationships in renewable energy projects for communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

In the challenges we face as communities rebuilding from COVID, I believe the focus on our Climate Emergency has to be about affordable energy solutions for communities while creating much needed jobs, I am so pleased to have been afforded my part in bringing about this shared future.

Born in Greenock, I have a Phd in history from the University of Edinburgh and a BD from the University of St Andrew’s. I have worked in hospital chaplaincy, parish ministry and most recently in community building for the Church of Scotland at the University of Stirling. I live on a small smallholding in North Fife where I keep and breed chickens and ducks.

Janet.Foggie@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

CEO ANNOUNCEMENT

The Board of Community Energy Scotland are delighted to welcome Janet Foggie as our new Chief Executive. Janet will join us on 1st March 2021. She succeeds Nicholas Gubbins who will remain in post until the end of March to facilitate a smooth transition.

Bringing strong and wide-ranging Third Sector and grassroots community experience, we believe that Janet is well placed to lead Community Energy Scotland into its next stage of development in these challenging and exciting times.

On her role Janet said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be taking up this new role with Community Energy Scotland and look forward very much to working with them in the years ahead. It is very much a future focussed organisation and makes a unique contribution in developing partnership relationships in renewable energy projects for communities the length and breadth of Scotland. In the challenges we face as communities rebuilding from COVID, I believe the focus on our Climate Emergency has to be about affordable energy solutions for communities while creating much needed jobs. I am so pleased to have been afforded my part in bringing about this shared future.”

Philip Revell, Community Energy Scotland’s Chair, paid tribute to outgoing CEO Nicholas Gubbins:

“With Nicholas at the helm for over 12 years, Community Energy Scotland has navigated numerous challenges to become the respected national charity that it is today. He has led CES in spearheading a range of innovative, collaborative projects that are showing the way to decentralised, localised, renewable energy systems, providing crucial technical support and expertise to communities across Scotland while ensuring that the community voice is heard in energy policy debates and consultations.”

In commenting on Janet’s appointment, Nicholas said

“CES has always been strongly people-focused and Janet is set to bring a real depth of experience and ability on this, along with her personal commitment to alleviating the climate emergency. I wish her every success in her new role.”

The Board looks forward to working with and supporting Janet, and our dedicated staff team, to ensure that Community Energy Scotland continues and further develops its key role in supporting communities to pioneer the zero-carbon energy transformation.

Matthew Logan

My role currently involves a range of responsibilities from active travel to electric vehicles and car-clubs; I also aim to help communities learn about and develop sustainable transport projects.  

I have recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh where I studied a BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Environmental Science. I was able to explore my passion for community action through my dissertation which focussed on how communities benefit from and are involved with community woodlands. In my third year of university I studied abroad in Sydney and interned with an Aboriginal Land Corporation in remote Western Australia. This experience gave me insight into the strength and creativity of rural and remote communities and inspired me to get more involved in community action back home. 

I love to learn through interaction with other people, places and lifestyles. I believe that the diversity of skills, experiences and opinions available when communities come together can be a huge force for positive change. Being able to support community groups to facilitate these changes is something I am excited and proud to be a part of.  

In my spare time I love being active and exploring the outdoors. Whether walking, running, cycling, climbing or swimming I am a big fan of active transport! I’ve recently moved to the Western Isles for the first time so I have a lot of exploring to do on my doorstep and can’t wait to learn more about the history, language, music and wildlife of the Islands.  

Tìoraidh an-dràsta! 

matthew.logan@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone: 07503 224640

Victoria Mackay

I am currently project managing Community Energy Futures and Community Energy Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund projects in Malawi (Solar Ovens & Sitolo Microgrid). 

I have a BSc in Earth Science and an MSc in Hydrogeology. I have extensive experience in the third sector supporting and advocating for communities in areas of high fuel poverty, and have worked on a range of low carbon heat projects specialising in geothermal, and water/ground source heat resource analysis.  

I believe that community-based action and the ability to manage and control energy locally is crucial to the growth of renewable energy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As a low carbon heat specialist, I am keen to see real progress being made to meet the very challenging heat decarbonisation targets that have been set in the coming years and hope to contribute to these both professionally and personally.  

I like to keep fit and can often be seen out and about running with my Labrador, Scout, who sets a mean pace, keeps me motivated and saves me a fortune in gym fees. 

victoria.mackay@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07810 855536

Sarah Pamenter

I am part of the ReFLEX and SMILE projects where I focus on community engagement, technical analysis, and social inclusivity and equity. In ReFLEX I am part of the customer offering team in which my CES colleagues and I try to ensure the ReFLEX services developed are as socially inclusive as possible. As the project progresses I will also be helping to analyse data to measure the impact ReFLEX services have on social equity and greenhouse gas emissions in Orkney. In SMILE I help analyse and troubleshoot the performance of the heating installations in people’s properties and assess the impact such installations could have on social equity and greenhouse gas emissions in Orkney.

In my early career I was a ‘Production Technologist’ in a large industrial business. I learnt the difficulties faced when applying science and engineering to real-life problems. I also learnt the importance of communicating using simple and clear language to solve these problems. Since then I have: completed a masters in Sustainable Energy Systems, worked on the UK government ‘carbon calculator’, and researched into emissions reductions in the cement industry. I learnt about renewable electricity generation, energy economics, and energy politics. My favourite parts of these experiences were based on the social impacts of ‘sustainable energy systems’.  

I care deeply about the natural environment and social equity. I believe science and technology are on the way to giving us the technologies we need to lower global greenhouse-gas emissions. I believe more work is needed in economics and policy to ensure we increase social equity at the same time as reducing our emissions. Increasing social equity should be built into reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and not just be an afterthought. I feel extremely lucky to work with colleagues who share these values and am proud to work for an organisation based on these values. I hope my experience with big industry, academia, not-for-profit organisations, and government will help me bring a broad view of how CES can work towards these values effectively.  

I’ve been lucky enough to travel, and in some cases live, in countries around the world. Seeing other countries’ natural beauties and different cultures made me realise how little I’ve explored of my own. I moved to Scotland 7 years ago and love getting out into its wilder Highlands and islands. I’m an enthusiastic newcomer to: twitching (bird watching), wild swimming, wild camping, gardening and fermenting (sourdough and kombucha at the moment!). I’m also a keen yogi, qualified yoga teacher, cat and dog lover (don’t ask me to choose!), and love listening/dancing about to music. 

And just in case that all sounds a little bit too grown up and wholesome… I listen to all the Harry Potter books at least once a year (Hufflepuff in case you were wondering…) and my desert island meal would be chips and mushy peas! ? 

sarah.pamenter@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07917 837561

Rona Mackay

My responsibilities are HR, running the Board and Management Team and ensuring a well organised, coherent overall approach to delivery of all our operational projects.  

I have a great deal of experience in community renewables, supporting community groups through major political, regulatory and funding changes. An achievement I’m particularly proud of is forming a local community partnership to deliver Uist Energy in Motion.  I conceived this project to remove barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles in Uist and make electric vehicles more accessible, tackling fuel poverty related to road transport and reducing carbon emissions.  

Recently I managed Community Energy Scotland’s contract with the Energy Savings Trust to deliver community engagement for the COBEN project in Oban and Barra & Vatersay.  I led on the study of opportunities for communities from Surface Water Source Heat Pumps in the Lochmaddy Warmth from Water project, and worked with Lochboisdale Amenity Trust on their Warm Homes project looking at the potential for district heating from wind.  

I was responsible for Community Energy Scotland’s contracts with the Big Lottery and HIE, coordinating teams delivering tailored support on renewables to community groups, and managing the fund distribution for the Community Renewable Energy Support Programme. Through my contract management role, I led the design and roll-out of Interactive Coaching Sessions; telephone conferencing for remote community groups to take forward their projects in support of each other.  

Supporting 5 large wind projects in the Western Isles has played a major part in my role, helping them towards planning permission and managing contracts on their behalf with consultants.  

I led a Community Energy Scotland team working with the Open University to create an educational resource for community micro-renewables projects, and I also wrote and edited sections of the Scottish Government Community Renewable Energy Toolkit 

I’m passionate about the environment & climate change and always have been since I was a youngster. When I joined the Third Sector straight after Uni I felt a new passion for community. Working for Community Energy Scotland gives me the perfect opportunity to work for both. Originally from Glasgow, I fell in love with island life, the people and wildlife in the Western Isles. Living in a small rural community means people have to be adaptable, resilient and tackle their own problems. It’s the same working for Community Energy Scotland, although everyone has their own personal drivers, we share our devotion for community and environment. 

We have a highly skilled and diverse team, many of whom are new to community energy so with 13 years of experience in Community Energy Scotland I bring the story and past learning to our team. 

My main hobby is crofting, we keep around 20 Hebridean sheep on a boggy croft which requires regular ditching (possibly the most satisfying task in the world). My husband comes from a long line of crofters but isn’t up for carrying on the tradition so I’ve raised two children to help me round up the sheep! I’m currently Chair of Sealladh Hiort, a Charity developing a St Kilda viewing centre in North Uist. I love this project as it will create a great local resource for all ages and much needed economic development. 

Rona.Mackay@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Contact no: 01870 603826

Peter Long

I was brought up in Orkney, attending Stenness Primary School and Stromness Academy.  Following an interest in technical studies and electrical technologies, I completed an undergraduate degree in 2007 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.  This was complimented by a post-graduate degree in Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation, providing my first steps into renewable energy fundamentals and real-world developments. 

After graduation, I spent time travelling and exploring Canada and Australia for a few years before going back into higher education, where I was fortunate enough to be accepted in the Marine Renewable Energy Masters at ICIT in Stromness.  It was during this time that I really came to re-appreciate life in Orkney and the dynamic local energy system.  I graduated from this Masters in 2013. 

I was then fortunate to cross the car park at the Old Academy to join the work force at Aquatera, where I principally worked on technological projects centred on energy use and low emission transport.  My growing interest in the local energy issues and potential in Orkney brought me to Community Energy Scotland where I have been helping to deliver the SMILE, BIG HIT and ReFLEX projects. My work involves looking at using innovative grid-smart technologies in combination with more established ones to help balance the local grid with the aim of keeping Orkney’s renewables resource generating as much as possible. 

Outside of work I enjoy producing food from my plots in the local community garden and constructing various fun things, such as rafts for the annual local race and confectionery treats! 

peter.long@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07810 855727

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