Energy efficiency providers may complain that the flashier, more expensive renewable energy industry is getting the biggest share of government stimulus funding and incentives.
Energy efficiency and management companies as well as projects are set to receive about $184 billion, or 53 percent of the $350 billion in green stimulus it has tracked over the past eight months.
Furthermore, companies that provide those services have outperformed a broader index of companies in HSBC's Climate Index, with the improved performance closely matching the flood of stimulus dollars into the economy.
Maybe that makes sense, given that buildings use up nearly three-quarters of the electricity generated in the United States, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (see Buildings, the Energy Gobblers).
The bank's climate index includes companies that get 10 percent or more of their revenues from energy efficiency, water, pollution and waste control or "low carbon energy production," by the way. HSBC throws in energy storage and fuel cell companies in its energy efficiency and management category, broadening the field beyond companies that help save energy in buildings, transportation and other operations.
Low carbon energy production players – which includes natural gas and nuclear power as well as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and biofuel – still made up the majority of companies on the index, at 60 percent, compared to 23 percent in the energy efficiency category.
Those low carbon energy production companies are set to receive $75.2 billion, or 22 percent, of the $350 billion in global stimulus – the lowest portion of the three categories the bank tracks. Water, waste and pollution control companies, which make up 12 percent of the index, are projected to receive $86.2 billion, or 25 percent.