Senior Management Team

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive

saunders-jennyJenny Saunders has been chief executive of National Energy Action since 2007, and prior to that was director of communications. She has a number of public advisory roles: UK government’s fuel poverty advisory group; Ofgem’s sustainable development group; Durham Energy Institute’s advisory board at the University of Durham; Newcastle University Sustainability Institute’s partnership committee and UKERC advisory board. She also has a number or advisory roles to the energy sector and is a member of Scottish Power’s stakeholder forum; EDF Energy’s CMA and standards of conduct panel; Northern Powergrid’s social expert group and chairs SSE’s customer forum. She is a non-executive board director of National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions Community Interest Company and also trustee of Energy Action Scotland and the Chesshire Lehmann Fund. Having helped to establish a grant-making fund at the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to assist women to achieve their full potential, Jenny served on the Women’s Fund Committee for five years from 1999-2004.  She served as a trustee of the British Gas Energy Trust for 6 years until October 2010 and is chair of a local community group in Newcastle. A language graduate of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Jenny worked in Norway and in youth and community training programmes prior to joining NEA. She was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List for her services to the fuel poor.

Audra Peacock, Deputy Chief Executive

Audra joined NEA in 2009 and has responsibility for managing the support services of the charity, as well as developing the charity’s strategic and business planning ambitions. Prior to this her career has primarily been spent across the public sector, with responsibility for organisational efficiency, personnel management, business management, performance management and strategic planning.

Maria Wardrobe BSc, Director of Communications and External Relations

Maria is responsible for a team which develops and delivers NEA’s campaigns, public affairs, income generation, grant-awarding, publicity, marketing, media, events and membership services within the organisation. She has worked for NEA for 24 years.

Maria has extensive experience of campaigning at a national level, organising and speaking at regional and national events and broadcasting on local and national radio and TV. She is responsible for the secretariat for the All-Party Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Group (FPEEG); chairs the Age Action Alliance Safe, Warm Homes working group; and is a member of the SGN stakeholder engagement advisory panel and Northern Gas Networks’ stakeholder panel.

Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research

smith-peterPeter has been at NEA since July 2010 and was appointed a director in 2016. He is responsible for overseeing the charity’s policy and research work; working with government, industry and other stakeholders to address the causes and impacts of fuel poverty.

He has particular interest and expertise in the field of domestic energy efficiency and decentralised energy policy. He also provides the strategic direction for NEA’s role as the secretariat of the All-Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Group.

Prior to joining NEA Peter played a leading role within the combined heat and power industry.

Peter Sumby, Director of Operations (Community Engagement & Demonstration)

sumby-peterPeter has worked at NEA since 1996 and has been director of development and delivery since 2006.

He is responsible for the delivery of NEA’s practical work programmes which, in partnership with local authorities, housing associations, the health sector, the community sector and energy company partners, seek to demonstrate innovative ways of bringing affordable warmth to low income and vulnerable households.

Danni Crosland, Director of Operations (Skills, Standards and Delivery Mechanisms)


See also

Board of Trustees and Advisory Group

NEA staff contact details







Published on 05-01-2016
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