FLIR: Another Dividend-Paying Energy Efficiency Stock

Tom Konrad CFA FLIR Systems' (FLIR) IR cameras save energy not just by spotting leaks, but by spotting intruders in the dark. When I published my list of dividend paying energy efficiency stocks in January, I missed one, and it is a long-time favorite.  FLIR Systems (FLIR) business is focused around thermography, and I picked FLIR as a stock likely to benefit from the stimulus in March 2009 because FLIR's cameras are used by energy raters.   FLIR did benefit from the stimulus, rising 56% by the end of 2009 from the $21 price when I...

Wise Energy Use Stocks for Troubled Times

Part 1: Introduction In a financial world where there seems to be little hope, I see a bright spot in energy efficiency.  This is because energy efficiency improvements pay for themselves in a very short time, in addition to being the best thing we can do for energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Given the current financial crisis, I also believe that investors should focus on companies with strong balance sheets, which will be able to internally fund their investment needs for the next couple years. While I was making the above case, Energy Tech Stocks introduced their...

Can Investors Recover Faith In Energy Recovery?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Despite reporting the highest gross profit margin in Energy Recovery's (ERII:  Nasdaq) history, investors were sorely disappointed with financial results in the Company’s second quarter ending June 2017.  On the first day of trading following the earnings release the share price gapped downward and closed even lower under above average trading volume.  This is likely because there was some expectation that Energy Recovery could finally report a net profit in the quarter as sales of the Company’s flagship PX Pressure Exchanger to the desalination market had appeared to pick up in recent months.  Unfortunately the Company reported...

Cleantech is a Bunch of Hot Air!

David Gold While renewable energy often captures most of the cleantech headlines, if anyone doubts why energy efficiency must play a significant part in the cleantech effort – as significant, if not more so, than the role of renewable energy just examine the energy flow graphic developed by McCall and Bassett and reprinted in the June edition of Technology Review.  At least half of U.S. energy consumption goes to nothing more than creation of hot air through waste heat.  And, when one realizes that much of the 13.9% of electricity output from power plants shown in the...

Lighting Science Group Enters into Distribution Agreement for Its Low Bay Lights in Asia,...

Lighting Science Group Corp. (LSGP.OB) announced that it entered into an agreement with OptiLED Holdings Co. Ltd. ("OptiLED(TM)") for distribution of Lighting Science's Optimized Digital Lighting(TM) (ODL(TM)) Low Bay fixtures in the People's Republic of China (including the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions), Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The terms of the agreement include payment by OptiLED to Lighting Science of a royalty fee per unit sold within the countries covered by the agreement. The Low Bay LED fixtures replace a wide range of older, inefficient lighting technologies in many types of commercial, industrial, educational,...

How Infrared Imaging can Sell Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency breaks the laws of economics.  Despite the fact that it's considerably cheaper then traditional energy sources, as well as providing substantial benefits in terms of comfort, economic growth, safety, and the environment, barriers arising from misplaced incentives and the attitudes, awareness, perceptions, and general level of knowledge all conspire to prevent people from taking steps which would otherwise be extremely rewarding. The key to better implementation of Energy Efficiency programs are programs to raise people's interest or awareness.  For instance, there is the example of how Woodstock Hydro found that their customers' electricity usage dropped 15%...

Will LED Stocks Follow Solar Stocks Over the Commoditization Cliff?

Tom Konrad CFA One irony of green investing is that doing good (for the planet) does not always do well for investors.  Recently the rewards for do-gooders have been abysmal.  For years, I've been warning that the rapid price reductions we need to make solar mainstream are unlikely to be good for the profits of solar companies.  This year a combination of subsidy cuts in Europe and photovoltaic (PV) module oversupply brought those price reductions home to roost.  Recently, PV ...

Power Integrations Enables Manufacturers to Earn the ENERGY STAR Label on External Power Supplies

Power Integrations Inc (POWI) announced that its EcoSmart technology enables manufacturers to earn the Energy Star label for their external power supplies. An expansion of the Energy Star program announced this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency addresses external power supplies, the adapters that power such products as cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, PDAs and many other household and office devices.

The Sustainable Infrastructure Income Trust

Tom Konrad CFA Jeffrey Eckel Jeffrey Eckel has an investor relations problem. No, there has not been any scandal involving fudging the books or sweatshop labor.  Rather, most investors simply don’t seem to “get” his company. His company recently went public as a REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, and the traditional REIT investor likes the familiar.  They invest for income, and for many, a track record of past income and dividends is a must.  While Eckel’s company manages $1.8 billion of securitized energy efficient and sustainable infrastructure...

Power Plant Costs & The Case For Energy Efficiency

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a presentation that was given by FERC officials on the phenomenon of rapidly rising costs in US power generation (presentation link at the end of this post). The FERC, or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is America's energy watchdog. The presentation begins by noting that across America's major electricity hubs, power prices are up significantly on last year (between 62% in the Midwest and 123% in NYC) and that, unfortunately, this probably isn't an anomaly. In fact, the presentation argues, there may be something secular at play. Two main trends are noted....

Force in Name Only

by Debra Fiakas CFA One of the companies in our novel alternative energy indices is Forcefield Energy, Inc.  (FNRG:  Nasdaq).  For a time it was listed as among alternative chemical products and now is included among waste-to-energy developers, but it could be as easily included in our data base among sellers of LED lighting products.  The identify confusion is due in part to Forcefield’s own description, which includes a laundry list of capabilities and technologies. The company lays claim to proprietary products for heat recovery and the conversion of waste heat to useful purpose.  Forcefield comes by...

Lime Energy Sells ESCO Business to PowerSecure

Tom Konrad On March first, Lime Energy (NASD:LIME) announced the sale of its Energy Service Contracting (ESCO) business to PowerSecure International, Inc. (NASD:POWR). The deal will provide Lime with approximately $1.9 million in cash, plus the assumption of $9.9 million in liabilities associated with various ongoing projects, offset by $6.3 million in assets transferred to PowerSecure.  This makes the effective purchase price of the business approximately $5.5 million (not the $11.9 million I earlier reported).  The deal should be good news for both Lime and PowerSecure shareholders. From Lime Energy’s Perspective After nine months of worrying about misreported and potentially fictitious revenue, it’s...

Hidden Gems? Why Green Investors Should Look at PFB, Vodafone And Telefonica

Part 1 of 2 Bill Paul Looking for alternative energy stocks with undiscovered potential? Who isn't? Here are three possibilities (with three more to come next week). You can decide for yourself whether they are worth further investigation. First up: PFB Corporation, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PFB. Calgary-based PFB is an energy efficiency play. The company makes insulating building products that it sells under branded names in commercial and residential markets in North America and Japan. The company most recently reported third quarter net income of $1.6 million or 24 cents vs. $1.1...

Cree Survey at Light+Building Indicates Expected Rapid LED Adoption for Lighting

Cree, Inc. (CREE) announced the results of a new survey on the adoption, deployment and overall benefits of LED lighting. Conducted for Cree this week at Light+Building 2006 in Frankfurt, Germany. The survey revealed extraordinary optimism among lighting industry executives, architects, designers, engineers and other decision-makers regarding the growth of the LED lighting market. Out of 123 trade show participants polled, 50 percent of respondents stated they have seen a 20 percent to 60 percent growth rate for LED lighting applications in their businesses over just the past six months. Looking forward, 50 percent of those polled...

Looking for Cash in Old Refrigerators

by Debra Fiakas CFA Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCI:  NYSE) is a typical small company, toiling away in seeming obscurity and struggling to get proper valuation of their success.  There is little glamour in old refrigerators and washing machines, but ARCA has figured out how to wring cash from recycling our household appliances.  In the last three fiscal years the company converted 1.6% of sales to operating cash flow. Unfortunately, things have turned a bit sour in the world of old Frigidaires and tired Maytags.  Last week ARCA reported financial results for the quarter ending September 2015.  The company suffered...

The Alternative Energy Fallacy

John Petersen In 2009, the world produced some 13.2 billion metric tons of hydrocarbons, or about 4,200 pounds for every man, woman and child on the planet. Burning those hydrocarbons poured roughly 31.3 billion metric tons of CO2 into our atmosphere. The basic premise of alternative energy is that widespread deployments of wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles will slash hydrocarbon consumption, reduce CO2 emissions and give us a cleaner, greener and healthier planet. That premise, however, is fatally flawed because our planet cannot produce enough non-ferrous industrial metals to make a meaningful difference and the prices...