The company says the division of the company “helps cities across the country reduce energy costs, lower CO2 emissions and save money”.
Siemens says that cities can lower energy costs by up to 50 percent and lighting costs by up to 80 percent through such technology as intelligent building automation and lighting controls, energy management and smart grid solutions, as well as renewable energy alternatives.
The company is offering municipalities a financing option called “performance contracting” whereby the city takes no financial risk, as related expenses are completely offset by reductions in operating and energy costs.
“As challenging as these times are, the answers to the problems cities face are largely here, the technology is here, and the methods of getting this done, even without a lot of up-front capital, have been put to work successfully,” said Daryl Dulaney, president and CEO of Siemens Industry Inc. “That’s why we are looking to hire these 400 new employees.”
In related news, the Department of Energy has just released a report (pdf) on energy efficient building technologies that have emerged from the Emerging Technologies initiative, within the department’s Better Technologies Program.
Eleven commercially available technologies have emerged from the program, including:
- PVT Solar’s Echo photovolatic system, which uses air rather than water as its working fluid;
- GE’s GeoSpring hybrid water heater, which uses heat pump technology to transfer heat from the surrounding air to the stored water, enabling significant energy savings;
- SAGE Electrochromics’ SageGlass, a window glazing
technology that overcomes conventional window insulation challenges while preserving the benefits of natural daylighting;
- Philips Color Kinetics’ LED-based parabolic aluminum reflector (PAR) lamp with a standard form factor, allowing the lamp to be used with existing lighting fixtures.
The report found that lighting research and development accounted for the majority of all technologies identified in this study, including 58 percent of all commercially available and emerging technologies and 69 percent of all “potential” technologies – those products that are more than three years away from being commercially available.
Lighting is responsible for 21.5 percent of the energy used by U.S. commercial buildings, making lighting the single largest energy use, the report said.
Three types of organizations received grants to develop these building technologies: private companies, universities, and national laboratories. Private companies accounted for 73 percent of commercially available and emerging technologies and 56 percent of potential technologies.
Universities had a much more prominent representation among potential technologies (25 percent) than commercially available/emerging technologies (11.5 percent). National laboratories had an almost identical representation (15-19 percent) among both groups.