In Va., saving money, creating jobs and training clean energy workers

The Johnson Controls Building Efficiency headquarters in Wisconsin. The company's efficiency unit is active in Virginia, where it's created more than 2,000 jobs. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Controls)

The Johnson Controls Building Efficiency headquarters in Wisconsin. The company’s efficiency unit is active in Virginia, where it’s created more than 2,000 jobs. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Controls)

In 1883, when Warren Johnson invented the thermostat, few could have predicted that it would serve as the foundation of a company that would grow to Johnson Controls Inc., a 170,000-employee company driving energy savings at a global scale.

Through their Building Efficiency business, Johnson Controls reaches more than 1 million customers, from almost 700 offices in more than 150 countries.

Since 2000, Johnson Controls has achieved more than 19 million metric tons of carbon reduction through guaranteed energy savings projects, saving their customers $7.5 billion through more efficient equipment, heating, cooling, refrigeration, and other technologies.

In Virginia, where Johnson Controls has five building efficiency offices — in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Rockville, and Glen Allen — the company has completed projects guaranteed to save businesses and homeowners $169 million while creating nearly 2,800 jobs.

One savings-generating project teamed up Johnson Controls in Virginia with the state’s Department of Corrections. Johnson Controls upgraded lighting, heat pump, solar thermal, building envelope, and other infrastructure, helping the department invest $51 million in improvements generating savings that over time will pay for themselves.

Returns on the investments already are being used to fund educational programs for offenders. At the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, the Green Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Vocational Program is helping educate inmates.

By preparing them for energy efficiency careers after their release, the program helps them be ready to contribute to a clean energy future.

This case study originally appeared in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s December 2013  Carbon Pollution Standards Fact Sheet for Virginia.