GE said the new company, called Current, will deliver “the most cost-effective, efficient energy solutions required by customers today and in the future”.

Current, which will begin with more than $1bn of revenue, will essentially act as an energy consultancy, helping clients reduce energy costs and emissions.

Early customers include Walgreens, Hilton Worldwide and JPMorgan Chase.

The business will use its proprietary software to analyse energy consumption and provide customers recommendations to increase efficiency – from reducing power levels, to generating power on site to creating new revenue streams for customers through the use of sensors and networked systems in buildings.

GE said Current will help customers save an estimated 10-20% on their energy bills.

“We’ve been transforming the power and lighting sector since GE’s inception,” said GE vice chair Beth Comstock. “Energy is part of our legacy, part of our genetic code. And digital code is a big part of our future. Once again, we have an opportunity with Current as a startup to lead another significant change in energy delivery.”

GE continues a trend of large corporates setting up dedicated clean energy businesses. Earlier this year, Norwegian fossil fuel major Statoil set up a renewable energy division, as did German energy supplier E.ON.

In related GE news, a team of scientists at the company received a $1m grant from the US Government earlier this month, to help them develop a form of carbon capture that uses 80% less electricity than conventional methods.

Brad Allen

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