February 22, 2010 / 9:40 PM / 7 years ago

IBM, Johnson Controls partner on green buildings

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Technology giant IBM (IBM.N) is expanding its green business by partnering with Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N) to offer services that will help in cutting energy and water use in buildings.

The two companies said on Monday that they have launched an initiative that combines IBM's business analytics software with Johnson Controls' building and energy efficiency tools.

Currently about 40 percent of U.S. energy use goes toward the heating, cooling and general operation of buildings.

IBM estimates that the information technology part of the green buildings market will grow from $3 billion in 2010 to $6 billion or more in 2015, Rich Lechner, IBM's vice president of energy & environment, said in an interview.

"There is a huge opportunity in retrofitting buildings," he said.

Also, more incentives are being offered worldwide by governments and utilities to encourage energy efficiency.

"Over 200 incentives across the United States are being offered, which can have a substantive impact in terms of reducing the cost of the investment," Lechner said. "The opportunity is anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in energy usage." (Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Editing by Gary Hill)

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