Bristol Community Energy Fund is a scheme set up by Bristol City Council with seed-funding provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. We work in partnership with the Bristol Energy Network to support and grow the ever-growing number of community energy projects in Bristol.

We can offer your community group grant funding to run an energy-related project in your community or a loan to cover the development costs of a renewable energy project. You can find out more about the two types of funding available on our Grants page and our Loans page. The sections below will tell you a bit about the people that we work with to administer our funding.

Grants Panel

Our Bristol Community Energy Fund was set up for the community and run alongside the community.  We’ve set up a panel made up of representatives from partner and community organisations to assess funding applications for our small and large grants. Have a look at the bios below to find out more about our awesome panel members.

Mareike Schmidt (chair)

Service Manager for Energy at Bristol City Council and is leading on the Council’s European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) investment programme. Mareike is responsible for co-ordinating a team of energy professionals to develop, implement and finance several energy efficiency and renewable energy projects of a total value of up to £140m. Mareike chairs our grant funding panel representing Bristol City Council.

Hilary Neal

Chair of the Quartet Community Foundation’s Programmes  and North Somerset area committees. Hilary has a lengthy career  of working in Government  service areas shaping policy on wildlife conservation and biodiversity. Hilary is also Trustee and Chair of the Curzon Cinema and Arts in Clevedon, pursuing its objectives for arts, education and heritage conservation.

Sophie Pritchard

Coordinator of Bristol Energy Network, responsible for organising meetings and events, communications and working with the staff throughout the organisation to inform the overall strategy and direction. Sophie has  a passion for grassroots activism having worked and volunteered for many organisations tackling issues like animal rights, the environment and social justice.

Bridget Newbery

Senior Projects Manager for the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), responsible for developing community energy and fuel poverty projects. Bridget has more than ten years’ experience in project management and development work in the public, private and voluntary sector, in particular with community projects and sustainable development initiatives.

George Moss

An active volunteer with Age UK Bristol, South Bristol Advice Centre and BCFM Radio. He has years of experience in helping members of the public with many different issues and his advice work includes sign posting people to get the help and assistance that can help them with everyday living, including making any issues easier to understand for one and all.

Laura Welti

A life-long campaigner on equalities and diversity issues and has several decades’ experience of paid and unpaid working within the voluntary sector in Bristol particularly in youth, community and equalities fields. Laura currently works as Forum Manager for Bristol Disability Equality Forum. Laura has been committed to environmental sustainability for some 35 years.

Sado Jirde

The Director of Black South West Network (BSWN), a charity focused on human rights, equality, access to knowledge and socio-economic inclusion. Sado also sits on various local, regional and national net-works and forums including; the South West International Development Network (SWIDN), New Economy Organisers Network (NEON), Bristol Race Equality Manifesto Steering Group and Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE).

Gareth Hoskins

A Director of Bristol Energy Co-operative. He is also a founder director of Brendon Energy, a community-owned renewable energy co-operative in Somerset. His working life has been spent in finance and administration in Social Services Departments in London  including grant administration. Gareth is also a trained energy assessor.

Ade Olaiya

A PhD researcher at UWE whose thesis looks at the impact of sustainable development goals in recognising the International Decade for people of African descent. Ade has previously served as a Director of the Malcolm X Community Centre, as well as Chairman and Executive Trustee of Wiltshire Racial Equality Council. Ade has also worked in Energy Conservation with a borough council in London.

Puegee Lam

Works for a youth homeless organisation, supporting people to increase their financial confidence and to manage money better. Much of this involves talking fuel poverty  increasing knowledge around saving energy, reading meters, meter options, payment options, switching providers, applying for warm home discounts, managing utility debt and accessing energy trust funds.