GE combines technologies into energy efficiency company


(Reuters) - General Electric Co said on Wednesday it had started a company to focus on energy efficiency to help corporate and other customers lower their energy bills and better manage power distribution.

The new company, called Current, will integrate GE's LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses with GE's growing data and analytics platform.

The conglomerate, which has been selling off finance assets to focus on industrial operations, already generates massive revenue in the energy sector from selling and servicing big-ticket power generation products, such as gas and wind turbines as well as an array of oilfield equipment.

The company, which will be run by Maryrose Sylvester, who has been president of GE Lighting, will begin with $1 billion in revenue, and is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2020, GE said.

Through analyzing energy consumption, GE said it can save customers 10 percent to 20 percent on their energy bills.

"The creation of a new company within GE reinforces our commitment to take energy to the next level," GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

GE's will merge its LED business that serves commercial and industrial customers into the new company, while GE Lighting will continue to sell LED bulbs as well as other products to consumers, a GE spokeswoman said.

GE has been shedding non-core businesses, such as its appliances unit, and some investors have questioned whether GE will eventually sell its lighting business.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, editing by G Crosse)