At re:heat, we’re proud of the reputations our team members have built in the industry for thier honesty, integrity and exceptional market and technical knowledge.
Neil started his career at the Peak District National Park, followed by an agency of the Scottish Executive, before moving into the forestry and wood energy sector in 2003, when he took over as Project Director with the Northwoods initiative. Here, Neil worked with Ben to develop the Ignite training programme – the first formal training course in the wood heat sector, winning a National Training Award for ‘Employer Responsiveness’ in 2006.
Between 2007 and 2009, Neil made New Zealand his home, working for Living Energy. Responsible for the first 6 woodchip boiler installations outside the timber processing sector, Neil helped pioneer the modern bioenergy industry in NZ, working on many commercial and industrial projects, including such glamorous installations as a sewage sludge drier, municipal swimming pools, and projects in the healthcare and hospitality sectors.
In 2009, Neil took up the post of Senior Biomass Consultant with the Scottish Agricultural College, where he worked on commissions ranging from design and procurement support for farms and estates, to producing planning guidance on renewables for the Cairngorms National Park.
With re:heat, Neil works on early stage sales, expert witness, due diligence and feasibility studies at an individual project scale, and providing strategic research and advice for clients including BEIS, the UNDP and the EU. Neil plays a key role in the Wood Heat Association, where he has led on quality and standards since 2013, and has been vice chairman and is now chairman. Neil is a regular speaker at conferences in the UK and overseas. Neil is genuinely passionate about professionalising the wood heat industry in order to help it reach its full potential in the coming years.
Ben started his career at Northwoods as its Training Officer, working closely with forestry and timber processing businesses across the North, helping them realise the opportunities for diversification – including into the fledgling wood fuel supply sector. As well as these early business support projects, Ben worked alongside Neil to write the Ignite woodfuel training programme, before leaving for a senior role with a national wood fuel system installation company.
Taking the lead in the North of England and Scotland, Ben led a team of Business Development Managers on the technical sale and development of many UK firsts in the wood heat sector. These ranged from designing and managing several clusters of installations in new-build schools, university buildings and hospitals, through to wood-to-steam projects and industrial and process applications. Some of the more interesting installations Ben has been involved with range from leisure centres to high security prisons, the home of the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet to remote monasteries.
Since forming re:heat with Neil in 2011, Ben has dedicated his time to developing and supporting the most successful network of installation partners in the North, with over 40 installation companies delivering projects across the UK. Ben has also worked to develop a varied portfolio of consultancy work, with a wide range of clients across the public and private sectors.
Penny started her career in 1984 as an Office Manager for a firm of commercial surveyors managing the office, accounts, VAT and payroll systems. After 5 years Penny moved onto Northern Rock Homes, initially as Office Manager but within 18 months taking on the role of Assistant Property Manager, responsible for managing their national residential lettings portfolio, ensuring rental yields were maintained and increasing and maximising occupation levels. A year later Penny was promoted to Sales Manager with accountability for 6 staff. The role was wide-ranging from initial design input through to launching new developments, marketing and capitalising sales.
Following an approach by Bowey Homes in 1997, Penny joined their team as Sales Manager, in charge of 22 full and part time staff. In 2003 Penny decided to leave full time employment to be a ‘stay at home’ mum. However, in order to keep her brain active during this period she set up a small entertainments business, providing entertainment equipment for events to a variety of end users. She subsequently sold the business in 2007.
In 2013 was she was induced to return to work with re:heat by the exciting prospect of working within an expanding and vibrant business as their part-time Office Manager. Penny undertakes numerous tasks and duties which vary on a daily basis!
Melissa started her career working within Defra and was a promoted to team leader within the digital document management unit. This was a varied role involving liaising with devolved agencies to organise the collation, distribution and reconciliation of rural landowners and farmers SPS applications.
Looking for new challenges and with an interest in renewable energy, Melissa left the civil service and returned to university and was successful in achieving an MSc in Renewable Energy Enterprise and Management at Newcastle University in 2011. Gaining knowledge of various technologies, wood heating systems were of a particular interest and this was developed further as part of her dissertation working with a local school using wood chip boiler.
Following this course, Melissa joined a North East company specialising in the supply and installation of biomass boilers. Spending two years as a project manager Melissa was responsible for organising and coordinating both domestic and commercial installations for enterprises including farms, holiday cottages and a local artist’s studio.
Melissa joined re:heat in June 2014 as Projects Manager, and her role includes supporting our new and existing customers with technical and compliance issues, and working on consultancy commissions, RHI accreditation support, and other biomass-specific commissions.