Posted on July 21, 2016

San Jose: Cisco Saves Big with Energy Efficiency Projects

By Ari Vanrenen

SAN JOSECisco is one of the biggest technology companies in Silicon Valley with more than 15,000 employees.

Cisco uses a lot of energy at its 50 buildings on its San Jose campus, especially its labs where employees test the company’s latest technology that provides network and data center solutions and services.

For a big business looking at how to save energy, Cisco had to make sure that their energy efficient investments also fit into their overall operating budget.

Karen Zelmar, director of energy efficiency management at PG&E, presents a $1.1 million energy efficiency rebate check to Cisco’s Randy Pond, left, and Tashbeeb Shahid. (Photo by Siva Sethuraman.)

As a sustainability-focused company, Cisco began shutting down all non-critical equipment in buildings across the world over the winter holidays starting nearly eight years ago as a conscious effort to avoid wasting energy during a time when more employees are generally out of the office.

To further their efforts, Cisco has also regularly collaborated with PG&E to explore and make energy efficient upgrades to their campus.

Cisco’s latest project with PG&E was implemented this past winter. The project involved retrofitting five office and lab buildings with equipment that efficiently cools the hot air recovered from offices, data centers and their production labs. PG&E also helped Cisco implement energy efficient modifications to pumping systems for this equipment.

Last week, PG&E presented Cisco with an energy efficiency incentive of more than $1.1 million. Through this project, Cisco will save more than 8 million kilowatt-hours of energy every year. That’s enough to power 375 homes or remove 143 cars from the road.

Cisco celebrated the completion of this project with their employees in San Jose. Randy Pond, former Cisco executive vice president of operations, discussed how the benefits of this project have urged the company to explore energy efficiency opportunities at other Cisco offices around the world.

Last year, PG&E worked with Cisco to include the latest energy efficiency standards in their lab design specifications. Because of this work, every new lab will be built to use energy more efficiently, reducing the amount of cooling and power it needs to operate.

Cisco was also the first company to sign up for PG&E’s Step Up and Power Down initiative in San Jose to encourage businesses to save energy.

Ultimately, the energy efficiency incentives Cisco receives from PG&E allows the company to continue to invest in more projects to further its facilities’ energy savings.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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