Energy conservation is core to Intel’s climate strategy, and a big part of our 2030 CSR goals, as we plan to conserve an additional 4 billion kilowatt hours of energy between now and 2030.
Kevin Geoghegan will help get us there. As Intel’s energy conservation manager, Kevin’s job is to guide a global network of dedicated energy managers, champions, and subject matter experts who partner with local operations teams to identify, design, and implement innovative energy conservation projects and increase operational energy efficiency.
To encourage others to integrate energy conservation into their climate strategies, Kevin and I authored a white paper, “Reducing Carbon Through Energy Conservation in Manufacturing” which shares Intel’s learnings in this space over the last decade.
I asked Kevin a few questions to learn more about the human behind our energy conservation program, and of course, what you and I can do to use a little less energy in our lives every day. Read on!
How did you become interested in energy conservation and sustainability?
I grew up on a green grassland family farm in the centre of Ireland, so I have always had a strong connection with our planet and the importance of sustainability. During my college years, while qualifying as an electrical engineer I took a summer internship with the Irish government. The internship was in the Real Estate Engineering group, where I assisted with the energy-efficient conservation of the historic Dublin Castle Clock Tower Building. The project showcased building science and the active use of solar for heating, and it motivated me to focus on energy conservation.
Was there a specific person or mentor who inspired you?
When I started as the first full-time energy manager for Intel’s Leixlip, Ireland site in 2002, I took an energy training course provided by John Mulholland, who worked for NIFES (a company set up by the UK government to tackle industrial energy efficiency in the 1950s). John’s passion for engaging people in energy efficiency was inspirational.
What sustainability milestone are you most proud of at Intel?
When Intel first started its focus on energy conservation, we invested about $2 million each year in projects. Back then you would often get the response that “All the low hanging opportunities were gone.” I am most proud of how we worked to develop projects to increase investment to $30m each year and that we exceeded our 2020 energy conservation goal, saving 4.5 billion kilowatt hours of energy between 2012 and 2019.
Have you seen the sustainability mindset shift over the last decade?
There is a clear understanding now that we all cannot continue in life or business without taking action to reduce our impact on the planet. Sustainability has moved from voluntary, to peer pressure, to a community, employee, and shareholder expectation. Now, sustainability is moving towards being a requirement in our buildings, workplaces and homes to protect our planet and economies.
Has your energy conservation work transferred over into your personal life?
Absolutely. I was fortunate to be able to hire a builder to construct my home. In Ireland, heating is the highest energy demand, so I specified and selected an underfloor heating system combined with a geothermal heat pump which takes heat from the soil in our garden. I also added solar thermal panels to heat our hot water.
What are three things people can do to reduce energy use at home?
- One of the simplest steps you can take is to install LED lighting, and to turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
- You should also look at high energy users like heating, air conditioning, or hot water systems. You can add additional controls to ensure they run only when needed, and when they need to be replaced, choose a more efficient solution.
- Install a solar renewable technology that best suits your high energy users.
Learn more about Intel’s energy conservation in our new white paper, “Reducing Carbon Through Energy Conservation in Manufacturing.”