Team Profiles

Director Profiles

  • Jon Cousins, Chair

Jon Cousins Green Party PCC for Wells ConstituencyA founder member of Avalon Community Energy Limited, Jon has been active in the ‘social economy’ for many years, including being a founder member and project manager of both the North Cotswold Community Time Bank and Avalon Fair Shares.   In the latter position, he helped to establish five community time banks in Somerset, and develop the first Transition currency in the county – the Sunrise SOL.  He has been a board member of Mendip Credit Union, and is an elected member of Glastonbury Town Council.

A qualified practitioner with the Cabinet Office’s ‘Community Organisers Programme’, he is currently a Senior Community Organiser with COLtd.

Jon was elected the Mayor of Glastonbury in 2016.  He was also the Green Party candidate for the Wells Constituency in the 2015 General Election.


  • Maddy Milnes, Company Secretary

Maddy Milnes is a founder member of Avalon Community Energy Limited and has 15 years’ experience of working at board level as a HR director within education and the NHS. She is a highly successful and well regarded HR professional with experience of large complex organisations with expertise in  organisational development, engagement and leadership development.  Having had a successful career she is now seeking to use her skills and expertise for the benefit of the local community.

For the past four years she has also been involved in Transition Wells as a volunteer, chairing the energy group, which has developed to be a dynamic and high achieving team and have implemented a range of initiatives to support the sustainability of Wells.

She is a graduate, chartered member of the CIPD and has a MSc in Strategic Management from Bristol University.


  • Michael Penn, Financial Lead

Michael Pic 23-Sep-13Michael is a second generation (!) Chartered Accountant living in Glastonbury, Somerset.

Michael qualified in 1972 and served as a Partner of a London firm for many years.

Michael’s specialism is in small and medium-sized businesses, especially in regard to company structures.  He has had Directorships of over a dozen companies in his time and brings that experience to ACE.

Michael has been locally very active over the years, from Chairman of the local Time Bank through to Treasurer of Glastonbury’s Community Development Trust.

He serves as an advisor to a number of charitable and philanthropic organisations nationally and internationally.


  • Nikki Pillinger, Director

nikki new smallNikki joined ACE in March 2015. Nikki has recently finished an Energy Policy MSc at Exeter University where she specialised in community renewable energy projects and energy markets.

She is currently working as an energy consultant at The Green Consultancy, a company specialising in energy efficiency measures where her role includes ESOS delivery for clients in various sectors, energy auditing and data analysis.

Nikki is a member of Transition Wells Energy Group and has worked for a number of other private energy companies in the last two years including Good Energy.

Nikki has done significant amounts of research and study into energy behaviour and policy. Outside of her MSc she has completed the ‘Green Steps’ environmental auditing training course; has a Level 3 City and Guilds qualification in Energy Awareness, Energy Efficiency and Behaviours; and a further Level 3 qualification in Sustainable Energy from her time at Norton Radstock College.

She became involved in ACE because she believes it can make a really positive difference to the area in which she grew up, and she can’t wait to see what we can achieve with it!


  • Juliet Yelverton, Director

Juliet-YelvertonJuliet is a qualified Cranio Sacral Therapist with extensive training in Trauma and Pre and Perinatal Trauma resolution with Babette Rothshchild and Karlton Terry. She is also well versed with a background knowledge of homeopathy, naturopathy, nutrition, kiniesiology and EFT. Additionally she has trained to Foundation Level in Core Process Psychotherapy.

Qualified to Masters level in Sciences and Business Management, she is also the Founder and Managing Director of Healing Earth Ltd., the Healing Waters Sanctuary in Glastonbury, and the HeartSpring Retreat Centre in France.

Juliet also has experience in the co-operative sector, being a founder member of the Healing Gardens Co-operative – a society set up to empower disconnected individuals to re-establish their relationship with nature in community owned gardens at the foot of Wearyall Hill in Glastonbury.


Team Profiles

  • Sonya Bedford, Legal Advisor

Sonya-Bedford-Oct13-03Sonya Bedford is a Partner in Stephens Scown Solicitors, and heads-up their Renewable Energy Team. She was named Community Energy Champion at the Community Energy Awards 2017; her strengths lie in dealing with wind farms, wind turbine acquisition, solar PV (domestic and commercial), and other technologies. She also specialises in the agricultural sector helping farmers and landowners with acquisitions and disposal of farms and estates; farming tenancies and partnerships; land management and diversification.

She has a broad experience of general rural legal issues including single farm payment and stewardship schemes; and she is a member of the CLA and Agricultural Law Association.

Sonya regularly gives presentations on the legalities of dealing with renewable energy and is on the panel for Lightsource, Good Energy, and other major solar and wind developers.

Sonya is a non executive director of RegenSW.

Sonya is certified by Bpec in Renewable Energy awareness and is currently undertaking her MSc in Renewable Energy.


  • Graham Lucas AICB CB Cert, Finances

graham new smallMoved to Glastonbury in 1999 and joined a local Oak frame builder, where he worked for 6 years, helping it grow to a nationally successful company, whilst maintaining it’s environmental credentials and becoming one of the first UK timber frame companies to become FSC accredited.

Since then Graham has worked with a growing number of small and start up companies in and around Glastonbury, providing extensive back office and bookkeeping support.

In 2014, he was asked to assist a local solar farm company on a consultancy basis to provide a comprehensive report on all costs and produce a model on which the company could assess the viability of any potential solar farm projects.

Graham is an Associate of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.


  • Jake Burnyeat, Energy Consultant, Communities for Renewables CIC

Jake-Burnyeat-sqJake joined ACE as our chosen Energy Consultant in December 2014. Jake is Director of Communities for Renewables CIC, a well established specialist advisory company that helps local energy enterprises.

Jake is a renewable energy professional with 10 years’ experience covering renewable energy project development, business start-up and management, due diligence for project acquisitions, negotiating commercial arrangements, procurement and providing strategic advice to community energy enterprises, local authorities and a range of large corporations. 

Prior to founding CfR Jake was Chief Operating Officer of Green Peninsula, advising large corporations to develop and implement their own renewable energy strategies. He is a director of the WREN co-operative, has an MSc in Renewable Energy Policy and Economics from Imperial College London and a 1st class MA in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews.


  • Dan Hurring, Community Engagement Officer

Dan HurringDan joined the team in January 2015 to support ACE’s growth and raise the profile of ACE in the local area. Dan has worked in the social enterprise sector for almost 10 years and has a great deal of experience in community liaison as well as working with local authorities across Somerset and beyond.

Dan spent 10 years as a festival organiser, co-founding the landmark eco-festivals, the Sunrise Celebrations, as well as the grassroots Off-Grid educational events. Though retiring from festival organisation in 2013, Dan continues to run Another World Productions Ltd, an award-winning event production and consultancy company, specialising in green event production and event licensing services.

As well as working for ACE, Dan is also a Director of One Planet Productions, a multi-stakeholder cooperative working on landscape-led development projects. He also works with Community Juice, an enabling developer supporting the growth of affordable and co-housing projects across the South West.

He has previously worked as a Charity Trustee, set up a CIC and sat on a considerable number of Boards and Advisory bodies.


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