In the latest of our blogs looking at the role of women in the energy industry, ENA's Emily Jones talks Net Zero, her role at ENA, and why she joined the energy industry.
What’s your current role at ENA and what does your job involve?
I’m the Communications Lead for Energy Networks Association’s Open Networks project, which is helping to facilitate the transition to a smart, flexible system that connects large-scale energy generation right down to the solar panels and electric vehicles installed in homes, businesses and communities right across the country.
My day-to-day role really varies, but the main component consists of ensuring the fantastic work the project does is shared with the world and strategically through the right channels too – whether it be a press release, blog, journalist/MP briefing, comment piece, webinar, newsletter, direct stakeholder comms, panel event or organic/paid social media.
My aim is to consistently communicate and celebrate the project’s achievements whilst considering the bigger picture too – in terms of what ENA is doing more broadly but also understanding that everything we do needs to be a part of the wider whole systems approach.
What first interested you in being part of the energy industry and how did you join?
I’ve worked across a range of consumer and corporate facing communications roles and was looking for a new challenge – specifically something I could be completely invested in. I’ve always enjoyed purpose driven roles where you see the real-life impact of what you’re doing – so I was incredibly excited about joining ENA and representing Britain’s energy networks at a pivotal point on the journey to Net Zero.
The energy industry has evolved rapidly over the past few years and it’s brilliant to see the fast-paced innovation that’s happening – what the sector has achieved so far is only the beginning in terms of making sure that customers across the country can see the benefits that smarter, more flexible energy networks can bring – and it was something I wanted to be a part of.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Working on a world-leading project is very rewarding, particularly when we lead on announcements such as the recent record breaking flexibility figures. The UK has some of the world’s most ambitious decarbonisation targets and Open Networks is helping to pave the way through flexibility to bring on more low carbon technologies – which makes for a demanding but fulfilling job.
I also love working with so many people from different organisations on a daily basis. It’s great to have this wider insight and collaboration – knowing that we’re all working towards a common goal.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?
Learning all the acronyms has been a challenge! Although, it works both ways as I’ve also used this an opportunity to remind people to use accessible, rather than technical, language wherever possible. So there’s been a lot of leaning in from both sides to meet in the middle on this!
Also, being a new starter in a pandemic– getting to grips with a new role in a new company within a new sector all whilst working from home has certainly been interesting! But ENA have been very supportive in this respect.
How do you bring your previous experience from outside the sector to your current role?
Before ENA I worked at another member association for several years, and it’s been good to use this experience from my previous role as it’s vital to understand how best to work with members and manage stakeholders.
Decarbonisation is also a key discussion point in the travel industry – now more than ever – in terms of how we address the challenge whilst considering wider impacts. The energy sector is the same in terms of understanding our broader, and urgent, responsibilities in relation to achieving Net Zero.
Notes to editor
Previous energy networks profiles:
- Laura O’Donnell, Despatch First Line Manager, Wales & West Utilities
- Lynne McDonald, Smart Grids Engineer and Manager, UK Power Networks
- Myfina Goddard, Pipeline Apprentice, Wales & West Utilities
- Laura Dunn, Senior Delivery Engineer, SP Energy Networks
- Farina Farrier, Head of Open Networks at Energy Networks Association
- Katharine Clench, Regional Development Programme Strategy Manager, National Grid ESO
- Elena Theodorou, Data Lead, Energy Networks Association
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).