Our team

  • Gareth JonesManaging Director

    FairHeat’s founder and managing director, Gareth, has more than a decade of experience in the low-carbon energy sector, having established a number of start-up ventures across district heating, utility services, integrated solar ESCOs and biomass.

    Prior to FairHeat, Gareth founded the Fontenergy group of companies, which included Insite Energy, a metering, billing and customer care company for customers on heat networks (of which he was also Managing Director), and Guru Systems, which provides smart payment and analytics tools.

    Gareth has had access to data on the performance of more than 100 heat networks across the UK, enabling him to see the real-world performance of these systems. He established FairHeat to bridge the expertise gap in the market and deliver the knowledge required to realise the full potential of heat networks in the UK.

    Gareth started his career at The Boston Consulting Group, moving on to Linklaters, firstly as Head of Strategy and then as Asia COO, overseeing joint ventures, mergers, new market entry, performance improvement and restructuring.

    To follow Gareth on Twitter and read his latest blog posts, visit @EnerGJones

  • Tom NaughtonAssociate

    Tom is an expert in the design and operation of district and communal heat networks with a background in building services mechanical engineering.

    Early in his career he co-founded a consultancy that specialised in energy, sustainability and low carbon design in the built environment throughout the UK and internationally. During his time there, Tom focused on CHP, district and communal heating design and worked on energy master planning across the world, including China, India and Egypt, where he produced low-carbon energy strategies for city-scale schemes.

    Tom has also been extensively involved in providing ongoing monitoring and support to more than 100 communal heating schemes in the UK, including private developers, local authorities and housing associations and he has extensive experience in data-driven analysis of heat network performance.

    Tom is a Certified Heat Networks Consultant under the CIBSE Heat Networks Code of Practice.

  • Mike RidgePrincipal Engineer

    Mike joined FairHeat in 2018 and is responsible for the New Build division of the business, which includes overseeing project support services in design, installation and commissioning for heat network projects throughout the planning, design and construction phases

    His team focuses on identifying improvements to the end user experience of heat networks, lifecycle value engineering opportunities and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations.

    Mike graduated from Imperial College with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and went on to join the Engineering Graduate Scheme with E.ON, where he developed significant technical expertise in pressure part design, stress analysis and system integrity. During his time with E.ON, Mike joined the District Heating division, Community Energy, where he held a range of different roles including Head of Design for the Delivery team responsible for the concept to construction designs of E.ON’s UK projects across Exeter, London and Newcastle.

    He is passionate about heat networks and the role they can play in a sustainable and innovation driven energy sector and his long-term ambition is to help heat networks become a leading contributor to a healthier energy market. 

    As part of his commitment to investment in engineering and the energy market, he has recently completed a chartership with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Mariota Smutz
  • Mariota SmutzHead of Policy & Assurance

    Mariota is a highly experienced, trusted policy advisor and senior executive with nearly 20 years advising C-suite Executives, Boards of Directors and Government Ministers in New Zealand regarding strategy, policy, and regulatory matters. He holds conjoint Bachelor Degrees of Law and Heath Science from the University of Auckland.

    Mariota has been particularly focussed within delivery agencies creating strategic partnerships, and influencing regulatory change designed to lift social, economic and environmental outcomes across different sectors such as transport, electricity and gas retail as well as building and construction and urban development. A strong believer in collaboration, he has worked with various groups helping to shift regulation to be future focused, fit for purpose, enabling innovation and agility to deliver better outcomes for investors, businesses, communities and creating improved outcomes.

    In addition, Mariota held NED governance roles across diverse portfolios of a Charitable Housing Association and as well as a Medicine and Health Device Clinical Trials Research Facility. He has also led engagements and negotiations with businesses, trade ambassadors and diplomats from Europe, China, United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

    Mariota brings his experience to a newly created Head of Policy and Assurance role with FairHeat and believes the heat network industry has a critical role to play in helping the United Kingdom decarbonise all heat in buildings, to meet its ambitious net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Ratiba Bouzerna
  • Ratiba BouzernaCommercial Operations Manager

    Ratiba is a Mechanical Engineer specialised in energy processes with over 12 years of experience across different industries. Her main career has been in the oil and gas industry with Baker Hughes, starting on the technical side as a Drilling Engineer and eventually moving to a commercial and sales role as an Area Manager for North Africa.

    Ratiba has a track record of success in designing and implementing strategic business plans to maximise operational profits. She has the expertise in identifying and optimising commercial opportunities and is skilled in building and maintaining relations with key clients and stakeholders. She has demonstrated expertise in defining revenue goals, analysing market trends, optimising bidding process, and negotiating contracts while ensuring compliance with set standards,

    With the objective of contributing to a more sustainable and fair economy, Ratiba joined FairHeat in 2020 as a Commercial Operations Manager. Her role includes the development of processes and performance management frameworks that enable business growth and profitability while ensuring business risks are properly captured and mitigated.

Tala Baadarani
  • Tala BaadaraniMarketing Manger

    Tala is a Marketing & Advertising expert with over 8 years of corporate and agency experience supervising and managing complex mandates for leading organizations across the Middle East and select jurisdictions in Europe & Africa. Tala started her career in the automotive industry working for Ferrari, she moved on to work in several industries including Retail, Advertising, Industrial, Power Generation, Health and Beauty, and Technology.

    As an expert B2B marketer, Tala is forward-thinking and has a strategic approach. She is experienced in Marketing, Branding, Digital Marketing, Business Development, Partnership Management, Event Management and Project Management across a diverse array of industries and international markets.

    Tala was drawn to FairHeat, specifically the vision of leading the transition to a fair, low carbon economy. She joined FairHeat in 2020 as a Marketing Manager with the opportunity to establish the Marketing department and kickstart new initiatives.

Lauren Benn
  • Lauren BennOffice Manager

    Lauren joined FairHeat in 2020 as an Office Manager with a keen interest in being part of a company making a difference in heat networks and building performance. As an Office manager, Lauren oversees the administrative activities, internal communication and facilitates a smooth office environment.

    Lauren has 5 years of management skills working in the Retail, Design and Architecture sector.

Yogina Paun
  • Yogina PaunAccount Controller

    Yogina is an experienced CIMA part-qualified and AAT qualified accountant with over 15 years’ experience in the Banking, Leisure and Services industries. She possesses first-class analysis skills, communication skills and the ability to evaluate complex information and data. She is self-motivated and has developed interpersonal skills to communicate efficiently with all levels of internal and external personnel including finance and non-finance related personnel.

    Yogina joined FairHeat in 2020 as a Finance Assistant and has since then been promoted to Account Controller. Her role consist of looking after end to end finance operations, making improvements to procedures and controls, and driving new finance initiatives.

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  • Freddie VallettaLead Engineer

    Freddie joined FairHeat from the University of Cambridge in 2016, following his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering.  During his studies, he spent a summer in the Middle East with Petroleum Development Oman in their Production Chemistry department.  This eye-opening work gave him experience in carrying out operational analysis of facilities with design issues and improving their performance.

    As a Lead Engineer, Freddie focuses on developing, proposing and implementing performance improvements to clients’ portfolios of existing communal heat networks.  In addition to this, Freddie oversaw the evolution of the Acceptance Testing process, ensuring clients have confidence that dwelling HIUs in their new heat networks have been installed and commissioned correctly and to the design.

    Freddie is passionate about communal heating and is committed to establishing new solutions for clients to get the best performance out of their heat networks, resulting in reduced energy usage, a lower carbon footprint and ultimately greater resident satisfaction.


  • James GallimoreSenior Engineer

    James has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham. He is passionate about developing energy systems that reduce carbon emissions in a low cost and efficient manner.

    He joined FairHeat in 2017, after three years of design and construction experience within the oil and gas industry and an environmental consultancy.  As a Senior Engineer at FairHeat, James provides guidance across all stages of heat network development, from initial design and specification through to commissioning and performance testing.
    He is committed to collaborating with a range of clients, manufacturers, designers, contractors and the wider sector to achieve positive outcomes.

    James recently received CIBSE Chartership and is a qualified Prince 2 Project Management Practitioner.