Chirpy came in to being from our direct experience of trying to tackle communal heating from inside housing providers. Between us we have over 50 years’ experience of  coming up with the solutions to make communal scheme deliver on their promise and to create heating systems that are financially viable, deliver great service and provider affordable and reliable heat for customers. 


This means we understand the opportunities and the limitations that exist in housing providers – the financial constraints, the challenges of getting internal buy in and delivery and of course meeting the needs of customers and the wider corporate objectives.  


Above all we come from the perspective of the housing provider and ensure that our approach and solutions reflect the needs of the client.The Chirpy team includes experts on the technical issues, scheme and asset management, procurement, scheme finances and staff and customer engagement.


The chirpy heat team

 Laura Bishop MSc CEng MIMechE MInstR

Laura Bishop is a chartered mechanical engineer, registered with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. She has 18 years engineering experience with a number of blue-chip companies including Bombardier Transportation and Rolls Royce.


Her most recent full time occupation was with E.ON Connecting Energies in Coventry where she was engineering manager for all UK renewable heat projects. During her time at Rolls Royce, she was also fuel system lead engineer on the solid oxide fuel cell development programme.


She now runs Infinitas Design Ltd, a Derby-based independent renewable energy engineering consultancy where she undertakes the design and development of mainly heat pump, heat network and energy storage projects for a variety of clients as well as advising on the government renewable heat incentive scheme.

Will Routh

Will has worked in Social Housing sustainability for 10 years, most recently as Head of Sustainability at Southern Housing Group.


During this time was responsible for overseeing their Heat Network portfolio from plant room to Board room, including internal management, contract management and customer service, helping to resolve many of the growing pains of becoming a heat network operator.


He served 3 years as Chair of the London Environment Group (LEG) of Housing Associations (2013-2016), 3 years as Treasurer and Advisory Board member of Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership and in 2018 co-founded ‘The Heat Network’ (formerly CHIRP) a best-practice sharing group for Communal & District Heating in Housing Associations.


Will is a co-founder of Chirpy Heat.


Rachael Mills

Rachael has worked in the sustainability sector for over twenty-five years.  She co-founded SE2 in 2004, a small consultancy that brings together stakeholders to develop policies, strategies, guidance and practices to transform and decarbonise our energy system. 


Through 2016-2019, Rachael worked within Sustainability Team at Southern Housing, specifically focussed on improving their new and existing communal heating schemes and processes, including efficiency analysis, tariff setting, customer communications and internal stakeholder liaison. 


For a number of years, Rachael has also been closely linked into the heating sector through her work with the Association for Decentralised Energy (for whom she is also a Non-Exec Director), HNDU, HNIP, and various local authority networks.   She is a co-founder of Chirpy Heat.

Martin Crane CEng 

Martin is an independent consultant specialising in the technical and economics aspects of district heating. 


Prior to this Martin worked for a large DH ESCO for 8 years.  Martin’s ESCO work focused on due diligence during design, construction and commissioning of seven large heat networks and then improving performance in operation. 


More recently Martin has been engaged to fault find problems and poor DH performance for a number of developers and housing associations.  


Martin was the lead author of the BESA UK HIU Test and has contributed to a number of IEA DH research projects gaining great knowledge from countries with more DH experience.  Martin has an active interest in community / co-operative ownership of DH, is a director of a DH Co-op and has done a number of feasibility studies for such schemes. 


Martin assists the BEIS HNIP and HNDU teams.  Martin is part of the team updating the CIBSE Heat Networks Code of Practice.  Martin has an MSc. in renewable energy and a degree in fuel and energy engineering.


Nicholas Doyle

Nicholas has worked for local authorities and housing associations for over thirty years. Previously he was a Project Director at Places for People, one of the UK’s largest property management and development companies and a non-executive Director of Viridian Solar, the National Communities Resource Centre and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the London Small Business Centre.


During this time he has been responsible for a wide range of housing, energy and environmental initiatives nationally and internationally that includes new developments, existing communities, corporate action and national research. He developed one of the UK’s first successful energy performance contracts for heat networks that has now been rolled out across the UK. He has worked with a wide range of providers on all elements of their heat networks, as well as delivering training on heat networks.


He is a co-founder of Chirpy Heat that was born of frustration with the failure of heat networks to deliver on their promise. Chirpy Heat was established with the aim of making heat networks deliver for housing providers and their customers. 

 Trevor Whittaker

With a background in infrastructure development leading many successful public-partnership projects, Trevor has worked in renewable energy across most sectors for over 10 years.


He has considerable experience of heat networks having invested into a start-up company that delivered the Wick District Heating Scheme in Scotland and led the team in Stoke-on-Trent City Council that won £19.5m of City Deal funding to deliver a 11km city-wide heat network. Since then he joint-founded Aqualor Energi to deliver low carbon heat using heat pumps so gaining significant experience of mine-water heat, sewer heat, substation heat and use of ambient temperature networks.


He is also a commercial advisor to the heat networks team in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


Chirpy are here to help you with all of your issues on heat networks. Together we can help you deliver reliable, affordable and controllable heating for your customers.


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