Media Interview with Lu Rahman, editor of Energy & Efficiency Today
I really enjoyed my time on Renewable Energy Installer and it was gratifying to be involved with the magazine from the beginning and to create a well-known and respected title in its field. With the launch of the Green Deal and the increasing importance of energy efficiency – domestically and commercially – my interests in this aspect of the energy market, as well as the wider energy market expanded. When the position at Ten Alps Publishing came up, it really sparked my interest.
Tell us a bit about your new publication and your new responsibilities, are the two publications very different?
Energy & Efficiency Today is an exciting magazine. Ten Alps has put a lot of work into creating a circulation that’s right and that reaches sustainability managers, facilities managers, board level directors of retail, construction and the public sector – i.e. key decision makers in the sustainability sector. It also reaches policymakers and members of DECC. Having spoken to leading figures within the industry, both I and the account manager Lynn Amey (also from REI) understand that the UK’s top businesses are seeking MCS-accredited installers and suppliers for sustainability projects and initiatives. Energy efficiency and working to a sustainable future are clear-cut goals for industry and the public sector. For this reason the magazine also reaches out to the MCS database as well as those involved in the Green Deal so that everyone involved in the sustainability supply chain keeps up-to-date with legislation, its effect on industry and the latest news and expertise. They can also use it as a networking tool – to find new business partners and create long-lasting working relationships.
Energy efficiency, energy generation and sustainability are becoming more fluid. They are no longer the preserve of a small, enclosed market but are major considerations in the day-to-day running of business and the public sector. While niche titles have their role to play, Energy & Efficiency Today aims to reach a wider market and serve the needs of the increasingly sustainable world we live in and those working in those sectors.
What have you been really enjoying working on so far in your new role?
It’s great to be part of a sector that really matters, is at the forefront of UK industry, and is really making a difference. The expertise and knowledge that the energy efficiency market has to offer is very, very exciting. With the knowledge and contacts gained on REI, both Lynn and I have been able to fine-tune our print and digital databases to ensure the industry’s key figures are targeted. It is extremely rewarding to be part of something at the start that has the potential to flourish and thrive.
What information from PRs would be useful for the publication?
I am always looking for industry expertise so PRs representing companies at the forefront of the industry should, of course, get in touch. Energy & Efficiency Today aims to become the voice of the sector, offering the views and opinions of those working at the heart of the market. With that in mind, I would love to find out more about the characters, the stories behind the successes of those PRs that are working with that would be of interest to the readership.
Are there many PR companies working in your sector?
Yes. The majority of companies in the energy and energy efficiency sectors are aware of the importance of good, solid PR. Technology and innovation are happening extremely fast so a good PR firm that can deliver on a regular basis is key.
Do you find social media like Twitter and Facebook a waste of energy, or better for the environment than paper communication and therefore very useful?
I’m not sure you can compare social media to paper communication. Times change and we need to keep on top of the ways we communicate and how we approach communication. I love social media, especially Twitter – it’s instant, it connects you with others in a way that nothing else can. Quite often stories break on Twitter before anywhere else – it’s a very useful communication tool – and often a very addictive one!
Does your job have any impact on your day-to-day life – how low is your carbon footprint?
I am very aware of my carbon footprint and do my best to keep an eye on the energy I use, the food I buy and where it’s come from, and the journeys I make. Of course, I am sure it could be better. Working in this field, it’s very hard not to be aware of energy consumption and it’s something we can all improve. I would be interested to know how mine fares – it’s a great idea for an article or TV programme. If there’s anyone out there looking for volunteers, I would be happy to oblige!
Can you give us any quick tips to lower ours?!
The first step is to start thinking about the choices you make and how this affects energy consumption. We have become a throw-away society – be it clothes, food, electrical goods – and we need to address that. We all know about recycling but it goes much further. Many businesses such as H&M and M&S for example, run schemes to take old clothes as part of their sustainable plans. Each time we shop we make a choice through the shops we use – it isn’t hard to find out which companies are bringing energy efficiency to the fore.
Where energy is concerned, we should be saving as much as we can. Good insulation is vital. Buying energy efficient appliances and switching off as much as possible all help in the long run. Is renewable energy an option for you and your needs? Have you looked at what the Green Deal can offer? The choice of car we drive is also a consideration, as are the places we choose to go on holiday and how we get there – it all depends on how far we want to take it. Of course though, every little step we take individually is a step towards reducing out carbon footprint.
Lu can be found tweeting @lowcarbonlu.