Who’s a Fat Cat?

Tom Konrad CFA A Fat Cat. Photo of "Cauchy" by author. Friday, in a generally positive article about Lime Energy (NASD:LIME), I noted that the top five executives at the company seemed overpaid in comparison to one of their nearest rivals, Orion Energy Systems (NYSE:OESX).  Since this was not based on in-depth research, and is a pretty serious allegation about a company I’m otherwise enthusiastic about, I decided to do some more digging. Who is a Fat Cat? Using data on executive pay from Morningstar, I compared executive pay at...

Lights of Energy Focus

by Debra Fiakas CFA It is the season of lights.  Lights for Hanukkah.  Lights for Christmas.  Energy Focus (EFOI:  Nasdaq) has been having a season of lights all year.  The company reported $62.3 million in total sales of its LED lighting products in the most recently reported twelve months.  Customers included large business and industry, property owners and the military.  The oil and gas industry is an important market vertical. Energy Focus really shines for the U.S. Navy with its explosion proof LED globes in all the colors the Navy needs to provide military personnel safety...

LSB Industries And Activist Fund Position Themselves For Board Election

With the resignation of four non-independent directors and reduction in the size of LSB’s board, the company has managed to appear to be making a step towards reform while making it harder for the activist fund to gain influence. Gaining influence in a tightly controlled family firm is never easy. It looks like the task just got significantly harder for Engine Capital in its quest to unlock shareholder value at LSB.

Is There Life After the Bulb?

When incandescent light bulbs are phased out in the United States between 2012 to 2014, managers of utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs will be between a rock and a hard place.  At the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project's 5th annual Energy Efficiency Workshop, this fact seemed to be the elephant in the room that most of the utility executives in attendance did not want to talk about. One Trick Pony It's not for nothing that the compact fluorescent bulb, or CFL, has become the international symbol of energy efficiency.  While it is true that we're not going to stop...

Geothermal Heat Pump Stocks

Geothermal heat pumps (GHP), also know as Geoexchange, or ground-source heat pumps have been recognized by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy as the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to heat and cool a building available.  The downside of GHPs has always been the large up-front cost associated with the cost of the ground loop.   With Obama promising a massive energy efficiency overhaul of federal buildings, the up-front cost is unlikely to be important so long as the expected returns on the investment are sufficient to pay for the upgrade.  Since geothermal...

Green Shoots for Green Building: Seven Stocks to Play the Trend

Tom Konrad CFA Rockwool insulation (Photo: Achim Hering) Signs of Green Building Growth Rockwool International (COP:ROCK-B,OTC:RKWBF) recently announced the establishment of the insulation manufacturer’s first US factory, in Mississippi, about 30 miles outside Memphis, Tennessee.  The firm has been seeing double-digit annual sales growth in North America, driven by interest from do-it-yourself chains and insulating commercial buildings, and expects this growth to continue. The company’s rock wool insulation, sustainably made from stone and recycled materials, can provide improved fire protection when compared to traditional insulation products. Rockwool is far...

Three Money Managers See LED Industry Shining in 2013; Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad LED lights on an outdoor tree. Photo by author This is the third article in my series based on my panel of green money managers’ predictions for 2013.  The first article looked at what they expect 2013 holds for the Solar industry, and the second looked at their predictions  for the Smart Grid.  This installment focuses on the LED industry. Jeff Cianci: Faster than Anyone Expects Jeff Cianci is Chief Investment Officer at equity investment fund Green Science Partners. Cianci says “The trend toward LED lighting for...

Ten LED Stocks, and a Wildcard

Tom Konrad CFA Clean Edge says the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs is opening the way for low-cost LEDs.  These are the stocks to know. Federal regulations are flipping the switch on our love affair with incandescent light bulbs.  Research firm Clean Edge's just-released Clean Energy Trends 2011 says this opens the way for a clean energy trend to watch: With compact-fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs the only legal competition in much of the world, Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs need only the arrival of an affordable replacement for the standard 60 watt bulb in order to be met...

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...

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...
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List of Energy Efficiency Stocks

Energy efficiency stocks are publicly traded companies using a wide range of technologies to deliver the same energy services using less energy in the built environment. This includes efficient lighting such as LED lighting stocks, insulation, efficient motors, efficient appliances and appliance replacement services, sensor and control technologies, the internet of things, efficient power conversion and generation, and energy efficient design, construction, and retrofits. See the list of efficient vehicle stocks and alternative transportation stocks for companies reducing energy used in transportation. This list was last updated on 2/18/2020. Acuity Brands(NYSE:AYI) AIXTRON SE (AIXA.DE) Ameresco, Inc. (AMRC) Appliance Recycling Centers of American (ARCI) Aspen Aerogels, Inc....

Investing in Efficient Homes: Energy Star, Built Green, and Beyond

This article is part of a series on the WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop. Sam Rashkin One highlight of the conference was Sam Raskin's (the National Director a.k.a. "Scary Man" of the US EPA Energy Star program.)  I recommend his presentation for graphic infrared images of poorly sealed homes, showing how little the insulation is doing to retain heat or cold if the building envelope is not tight.  It will make you think twice about buying a home that hasn't been checked to be tightly sealed. Rashkin believes that the growing affordability of infrared cameras will allow...

The WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop

The WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop: Overview The Western Governor's Association (WGA)  held a two day workshop in Denver on July 17 and 18.  Colorado's Governor Bill Ritter kicked off the workshop (with a slightly late start due to the shooting of a deranged gunman outside his office on July 16.)  The workshop was a step towards achieving the WGA Clean and Diversified Energy resolution which includes a call for a 20% increase in Energy Efficiency in their states by 2020.  I attended because I believe: Energy Efficiency can and will do more to meet the challenges...

Two High Yield Energy Efficiency Stocks with a Free Call Option on Housing

Tom Konrad CFA It's no secret that the housing market is in the doldrums.  New housing starts in August fell to an annual rate of 571,000, and fewer homes were under construction since record keeping began in 1970.  This has taken a toll on energy efficiency stocks in the housing sector, leading to some very attractive pricing in two of my favorites. Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (WFI.TO / WFIFF.PK) I've long been fan of Waterfurnace, an Indiana-based manufacturer of ground source and water-source heat pumps.  A note from a reader Wednesday prompted me to poll...

Feel-Good Government Grants Leading Cleantech Astray

David Gold Grants for smart grid projects. Grants for battery manufacturing lines. Loan guarantees for renewable energy project development. Grants to private companies for energy efficiency projects. And with each it seems that the cleantech world cheers. Yet for all our desire to create sustainability in our consumption and use of energy, this model of getting us there is not only unsustainable but is of questionable value. I want to emphasize that I am speaking about government grants to the private sector where the government is not the end customer and...

NovX21: Urban Miner

by Debra Fiakas CFA There's Platinum in them catalytic converters. Mention platinum and most of us think about beautiful and expensive jewelry.  However, platinum can be found in the dullest of products.  Catalytic converters used in automobiles for emissions control represent about one-third of the demand for platinum. The devices attached to the rear of our cars uses a mix of previous metals to remove nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons from engine exhaust.  The catalytic converter on a typical car uses a gram or less of platinum,...