General Electric has reshuffled several energy management and research operations into a new subsidiary called "Current" aimed at new energy technologies, the company announced Wednesday.
The new unit, which integrates lighting, solar, energy storage and electrical businesses, will work with clients to analyze energy use and provide suggestions on boosting efficiency.
"It will bring to market a holistic energy-as-a-service offering absent from industry today that includes sensor-enabled hardware, software, fulfillment, product management and financing solutions," GE said.
GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said the new unit combines GE products and services in onsite power, energy storage and digital to "provide customers -- hospitals, universities, retail stores and cities -- with more profitable energy solutions."
GE listed several large companies that have signed on with Current, including Walgreen, JPMorgan Chase, Simon Property Group and Hospital Corporation of America.
Current will be headquartered in the Boston area, with additional staff in Silicon Valley, California, and led by GE Lighting president Maryrose Sylvester. GE expects to add about 200 new jobs focused on software and energy management over the next few years.
The company will start with revenues of more than $1 billion. Its creation comes as GE radically scales back its financing business to focus on industrial operations.
Separately, Standard & Poor's revised its debt rating outlook on GE to "negative" from "stable" following news that activist fund Trian had acquired a $2.5 billion stake in the industrial giant.
The shift reflects that GE "could adopt a less conservative financial policy" that could involve acquisitions or share repurchases that require it to increase its debt, S&P said.