Project Better Energy, a clean technology and heating solutions provider, has appointed Volker Beckers to the board of the company as non-executive chairman.
After graduating from Cologne University with a degree in Economics & Business Administration and an initial career in IT, Mr Beckers has spent the last three decades within the international energy industry, serving most notably as group CEO of RWE Npower plc until the end of 2012 and prior to this, its group CFO from 2003 to 2009.
His professional experience spans both the private and public sectors, as well as academia, and since 2013, Beckers has held several leadership roles at a diverse portfolio of private companies, in addition to board roles within government bodies such as HM Revenue & Customs and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) Board.
He also sat on the Advisory Board of the EU Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) at King’s College, and is chair of the Advisory Board with Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business (ECFEB), a specialist research center at Rotterdam School of Management.
Based in Burton-upon-Trent, Project Better Energy was founded by Chief Executive Officer Simon Peat in 2011. Beginning in the residential solar market, the company has since expanded its product range to include off-peak power storage, electric vehicle chargers, air-sourced hot water cylinders and infrared heaters, providing a diversified range of clean technology solutions to both the residential and commercial property sectors.
The business has experienced significant growth over the last twelve years and is now the UK’s largest solar panel retailer, installing nearly 40,000 solar energy systems to date. Additionally, its Project EV division has installed over 80,000 electric vehicle chargers across the residential, commercial and public sectors, such as local councils and the NHS, as well as major retailers including B&Q and Arnold Clarke.
The group now employs approximately 300 people across its divisions and generates around £100m of sales on an annual basis.
Mr Beckers’ appointment comes after the recent announcement that Freshstream has acquired a strategic stake from the company’s shareholders, who reinvested alongside the firm. Project Better Energy is the 6th investment for Freshstream’s first independent fund, which closed earlier this year having raised €762 million.
Volker Beckers, incoming chairman of Project Better Energy, said: “Project Better Energy has quickly grown into the UK’s largest solar panel retailer and is fast becoming a leading provider of EV systems and energy efficiency solutions as demand for these technologies has expanded significantly.
“Demand for these services will only grow further as businesses and organisations begin to ramp up initiatives aimed at meeting regulatory requirements to integrate clean energy solutions, offer electric vehicle charging infrastructure and enhance energy efficiency in both new and existing developments.
“Simon has built a talented and motivated team over the past twelve years, as well as a strong industry network and customer base, which will provide the foundation for the company’s next phase of growth and is underpinned by recent investment in the business. I look forward to working with the Board to provide the governance oversight and market insights to guide Project Better Energy as they realise the future vision for the business.”
Simon Peat, CEO of Project Better Energy, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Volker as chairman at Project Better Energy as we reach this exciting inflection point for the company.
“His breadth of non-executive roles and multi-national experience built over many years will further enhance the capabilities and expertise of the board as we execute our ambitious growth strategy to provide a diverse range of clean technology and energy efficiency solutions across the UK.”