Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of significant accounting policies

Summary of significant accounting policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of significant accounting policies
Summary of significant accounting policies
Principles of Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting standards set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB. The FASB sets generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, to ensure financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows are consistently reported. References to GAAP issued by the FASB in these footnotes are to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC. The Company adopted the presentation requirements for noncontrolling interests required by ASC 810 Consolidation. Under ASC 810, earnings or losses attributed to the noncontrolling interests are reported as part of the consolidated earnings and not a separate component of income or expense.
The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and entities in which it has a controlling financial interest. Those entities include the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, ADGE and a joint venture, American DG New York, LLC, or ADGNY, in which ADGE holds a 51.0% interest. As the controlling partner, all major decisions in respect of ADGNY are made by ADGE in accordance with the joint venture agreement. The interests in the individual underlying energy system projects in ADGNY vary between ADGE and its joint venture partner. The noncontrolling interest and distributions are determined based on economic ownership. The economic ownership is calculated by the amount invested by the Company and the noncontrolling partner in each site. Each quarter, the Company calculates a year-to-date profit/loss for each site that is part of ADGNY and the noncontrolling interest percent of economic ownership in each site is applied to determine the noncontrolling interest share in the profit/loss. The same methodology is used to determine quarterly distributions of available cash to the noncontrolling interest partner. On the Company’s balance sheet, noncontrolling interest represents the joint venture partner’s investment in ADGNY, plus its share of after tax profits less any cash distributions. ADGE owned a controlling 51.0% legal and economic interest in ADGNY as of December 31, 2018.
Investments in partnerships and companies in which the Company does not have a controlling financial interest but where we have significant influence are accounted for under the equity method.
Noncontrolling interests in the net assets and operations of ADGNY are reflected in the caption “Noncontrolling interest” in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. All intercompany transactions have been eliminated.
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform with current year presentation.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Concentration of Credit Risk
The Company’s financial instruments that are exposed to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable. The Company maintains its cash balances in bank accounts, which at times may exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s general deposit insurance limits. The amount on deposit at December 31, 2018 and 2017 which exceeded the $250,000 federally insured limit were approximately $0 and $1,172,911, respectively. The Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts and thus believes that it is not exposed to any significant credit risk on cash.
There were no customers who represented more than 10% of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2018 and one customers who represented more than 10% of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017. The Company has approximately five hundred customers who represented 100% of the revenues for the year ended December 31, 2018. There was 1 customer who represented more than 10% of the accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2018, and none as of December 31, 2017.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all highly liquid instruments with an original maturity date of three months or less when purchased to be cash and cash equivalents. The Company has cash balances in certain financial institutions in amounts which occasionally exceed current federal deposit insurance limits. The financial stability of these institutions is continually reviewed by senior management. The Company believes it is not exposed to any significant credit risk on cash and cash equivalents.
Accounts Receivable
Accounts receivable are stated at the amount management expects to collect from outstanding balances. An allowance for doubtful accounts is provided for those accounts receivable considered to be uncollectible based upon historical experience and management’s evaluation of outstanding accounts receivable at the end of the year. Bad debts are written off against the allowance when identified. At December 31, 2018 and 2017, the allowance for doubtful accounts was $26,800 and $22,400, respectively.
Raw materials, work in process, and finished goods inventories are stated at the lower of cost, as determined by the average cost method, or net realizable value. The Company periodically reviews inventory quantities on hand for excess and/or obsolete inventory based primarily on historical usage, as well as based on estimated forecast of product demand. Any reserves that result from this review are charged to cost of sales.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are recorded at cost. Depreciation is provided using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset, which range from three to fifteen years. Leasehold improvements are amortized using the straight-line method over the lesser of the estimated useful lives of the assets or the term of the related leases. Expenditures for maintenance and repairs are expensed currently, while renewals and betterments that materially extend the life of an asset are capitalized.
The Company receives rebates and incentives from various utility companies and governmental agencies which are accounted for as a reduction in the book value of the assets. The rebates are payable from the utility to the Company and are applied against the cost of construction, therefore reducing the book value of the installation. As a reduction of the facility construction costs, these rebates are treated as an investing activity in the statements of cash flows. The rebates received by the Company from the utilities that apply to the cost of construction are one time rebates based on the installed cost, capacity and thermal efficiency of the installed unit and are earned upon the installation and inspection by the utility and are not related to or subject to adjustment based on the future operating performance of the installed units. The rebate agreements with utilities are based on standard terms and conditions, the most significant being customer eligibility and post-installation work verification by a specific date. During 2018 the amount of rebates applied to the cost of construction was $180,000.
Intangible Assets
Intangible assets subject to amortization include costs incurred by the Company to acquire product certifications, certain patent costs and developed technologies. These costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated economic life of the intangible asset. Indefinite life intangible assets such as trademarks are recorded at cost and not amortized. The Company reviews intangible assets for impairment when the circumstances warrant.
The favorable contract asset which relates to existing ADGE customer contracts is more fully described in Note 6., "Intangible assets and liabilities other than goodwill".
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
Long-lived assets, including intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, are evaluated for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances have indicated that an asset may not be recoverable and are grouped with other assets to the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets and liabilities. If the sum of the projected undiscounted cash flows (excluding interest charges) is less than the carrying value of the assets, the assets will be written down to the estimated fair value and such loss is recognized in income from continuing operations in the period in which the determination is made. Management determined that no impairment of long-lived assets existed as of December 31, 2018.
Goodwill is the excess of the acquisition cost of businesses over the fair value of the identifiable net assets acquired.
Impairment testing for goodwill is performed annually in the fourth fiscal quarter or more frequently if impairment indicators are present. To determine if goodwill is potentially impaired, we have the option to perform a qualitative assessment. However, we may elect to bypass the qualitative assessment and perform an impairment test even if no indications of a potential impairment exist. The impairment test for goodwill is performed at the reporting unit level and compares the fair value of the reporting unit (calculated using a discounted cash flow method) to its carrying value, including goodwill. The discount rate represents our estimate of the weighted-average cost of capital, or expected return, that a marketplace participant would have required as of the valuation date. If the carrying value exceeds the fair value, an impairment charge is recorded for the excess carrying value over fair value, limited to the total amount of goodwill of that reporting unit. Our assessment in 2018 indicated that the carrying value of our energy production reporting unit exceeded its fair value and therefore resulted in an impairment of goodwill (see Note 8."Goodwill").

The Company early-adopted the provisions of ASU 2017-04, during 2018, which simplified the impairment testing process by eliminating the requirement to determine the implied fair value of goodwill. The Company tests it goodwill for impairment on either a qualitative basis under certain conditions, or a quantitative basis. On a quantitative basis, fair value of the reporting units is primarily determined using probability weighted discounted cash flow analysis.
Income (loss) per Common Share
The Company computes basic loss per share by dividing net income (loss) for the period by the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. The Company computes its diluted earnings per common share using the treasury stock method. For purposes of calculating diluted earnings per share, the Company considers its shares issuable in connection with the convertible debentures, stock options and warrants to be dilutive common stock equivalents when the exercise/conversion price is less than the average market price of our common stock for the period. For the year ended December 31, 2017 the Company included 171,594 dilutive shares resulting from assumed exercise of stock options.
Segment Information
The Company's operations are comprised of two business segments. Our Products and Services segment designs, manufactures and sells industrial and commercial cogeneration systems as described above. Our Energy Production segment sells energy in the form of electricity, heat, hot water and cooling to our customers under long-term sales agreements. Prior to the acquisition of ADGE (see Note 4."Acquisition of American DG Energy Inc."), the Company's operations were comprised of a single segment (see Note 16. "Segments").
Income Taxes
The Company uses the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. The current or deferred tax consequences of transactions are measured by applying the provisions of enacted tax laws to determine the amount of taxes payable currently or in future years. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities and expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements or tax returns using enacted tax rates in effect for the years in which the differences are expected to reverse. Under this method, a valuation allowance is used to offset deferred taxes if, based upon the available evidence, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets may not be realized. Management evaluates the recoverability of deferred taxes and the adequacy of the valuation allowance annually.
The Company has adopted the provisions of the accounting standards relative to accounting for uncertainties in tax positions. These provisions provide guidance on the recognition, de-recognition and measurement of potential tax benefits associated with tax positions. The Company elected to recognize interest and penalties related to income tax matters as a component of income tax expense in the statements of operations. The Company has analyzed its current tax return compliance positions and has determined that no uncertain tax positions have been taken that would require recognition.
With few exceptions, the Company is no longer subject to possible income tax examinations by federal, state or local taxing authorities for tax years before 2015, with the exception of loss carryforwards in the event they are utilized in future years. The Company's tax returns are open to adjustment from 2001 forward, as a result of the fact that the Company has loss carryforwards from those years, which may be adjusted in the year those losses are utilized.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company’s financial instruments are cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, available-for-sale securities, accounts payable and revolving line of credit. The recorded values of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and line of credit approximate their fair values based on their short-term nature. At December 31, 2018, the recorded value on the consolidated balance sheet of the loan due to related party approximates fair value as the terms approximate those available for similar instruments. See Note 13. "Fair value measurements".
Revenue Recognition
Revenue is recognized when performance obligations under the terms of a contract with our customer are satisfied; generally this occurs with the transfer of control of our products, services and energy production. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration we expect to receive in exchange for transferring goods or providing services or energy to customers.
Shipping and handling fees billed to customers in a sales transaction are recorded in revenue and shipping and handling costs incurred are recorded in cost of sales. The Company has elected to exclude from revenue any value add sales and other taxes which it collects concurrent with revenue-producing activities. These accounting policy elections are consistent with the manner in which the Company historically recorded shipping and handling fees and taxes. Incremental costs incurred by us in obtaining a contract with a customer are negligible, if any, and are expensed ratably in proportion to the related revenue recognized.
The application of ASU 2014-09 did not have an impact upon adoption or on the amounts reported for 2018 as compared with the guidance that was in effect before the adoption and application of ASU 2014-09.
Disaggregated Revenue
In general, the Company's business segmentation is aligned according to the nature and economic characteristics of its products and customer relationships and provides meaningful disaggregation of each business segment's results of operations.
The following table further disaggregates our revenue by major source by segment for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Year Ended
December 31, 2018
Products and Services
Energy Production



Installation services



Maintenance services



Energy production



     Total revenue



Product and Services Segment
Products. We transfer control and generally recognize a sale when we ship a product from our manufacturing facility at which point a customer takes ownership of the product. Payment terms on product sales are generally 30 days.
We recognize revenue in certain circumstances before delivery to the customer has occurred (commonly referred to as bill and hold transactions). We recognize revenue related to such transactions once, among other things, the customer has made a written fixed commitment to purchase the product(s) under normal billing and credit terms, the customer has requested the product(s) be held for future delivery as scheduled and designated by them, risk of ownership has been assumed by the customer, and the product(s) are tagged as sold and segregated for storage awaiting further direction from the customer. Due to the infrequent nature and duration of bill and hold arrangements, the value associated with custodial storage services is deemed immaterial in the context of the contract and in total, and accordingly, none of the transaction price is allocated to such service.
Depending on the product and terms of the arrangement, we may defer the recognition of a portion of the transaction price received because we have to satisfy a future obligation (e.g., product start-up service). Amounts allocated to product start-up services are recognized as revenue when the start-up service has been completed. We use an observable selling price to determine standalone selling prices where available and either a combination of an adjusted market assessment approach, an expected cost plus a margin approach, and/or a residual approach to determine the standalone selling prices for separate performance obligations as a basis for allocating contract consideration when an observable selling price is not available. Amounts received but not recognized pending completion of performance are recognized as contract liabilities and are recorded as deferred revenue along with deposits by customers.
Installation Services. We provide both complete turnkey installation services and what we refer to as light installation services. Complete turnkey installation services typically include all necessary engineering and design, labor, subcontract labor and service, and ancillary products and parts necessary to install a cogeneration unit including integration into the customers’ existing electrical and mechanical systems. Light installation services typically include some engineering and design as well as certain ancillary products and parts necessary for the customers’ installation of a cogeneration unit.
Under light installation contracts, revenue related to ancillary products and parts is recognized when we transfer control of such items to the customer, generally when we ship them from our manufacturing facility, with revenue related to engineering and design services being recognized at the point where the customer can benefit from the service, generally as completed. Generally billings under light installation contracts are made when shipped and/or completed, with payment terms generally being 30 days.
Under complete turnkey installation service contracts revenue is recognized over time using the percentage-of-completion method determined on a cost to cost basis. Our performance obligation under such contracts is satisfied progressively over time as enhancements are made to customer owned and controlled properties. We measure progress towards satisfaction of the performance obligation based on an input method based on cost which we believe is the most faithful depiction of the transfer of products and services to the customer under these contracts. When the financial metrics of a contract indicate a loss, our policy is to record the entire expected loss as soon as it is known. Contract costs and profit recognized to date under the percentage-of-completion method in excess of billings are recognized as contract assets and are recorded as unbilled revenue. Billings in excess of contract costs and profit are recognized as contract liabilities and are recorded as deferred revenue. Generally billings under complete turnkey installation contracts are made when contractually determined milestones of progress have been achieved, with payment terms generally being 30 days.
Maintenance Services. Maintenance services are provided under either long-term maintenance contracts or one-time maintenance contracts. Revenue under one-time maintenance contracts is recognized when the maintenance service is completed. Revenue under long-term maintenance contracts is recognized either ratably over the term of the contract where the contract price is fixed or when the periodic maintenance activities are completed where the invoiced cost to the customer is based on run hours or kilowatts produced in a given period. We use an output method to measure progress towards completion of our performance obligation which results in the recognition of revenue on the basis of a direct measurement of the value to the customer of the services transferred to date relative to the remaining services promised under the contract. We use the practical expedient at ASC 606-10-55-18 of recognizing revenue in an amount equal to that amount to which we have the right to invoice the customer under the contract.
Energy Production Segment
Energy Production. Revenue from energy contracts is recognized when electricity, heat, hot and/or chilled water is produced by the Company owned on-site cogeneration systems. Each month we bill the customer and recognize revenue for the various forms of energy delivered, based on meter readings which capture the quantity of the various forms of energy delivered in a given month, under a contractually defined formula which takes into account the current month's cost of energy from the local power utility.
As the various forms of energy delivered by us under energy production contracts are simultaneously delivered and consumed by the customer, our performance obligation under these contracts is considered to be satisfied over time. We use an output method to measure progress towards completion of our performance obligation which results in the recognition of revenue on the basis of a direct measurement of the value to the customer of the services transferred to date relative to the remaining services promised under the contract. We use the practical expedient at ASC 606-10-55-18 of recognizing revenue in an amount equal to that amount to which we have the right to invoice the customer under the contract. Payment terms on invoices under these contracts are generally 30 days.
Contract Balances
The timing of revenue recognition, billings and cash collections result in billed accounts receivable, unbilled revenue (contract assets) and deferred revenue, consisting of customer deposits and billings in excess of revenue recognized (contract liabilities) on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Revenue recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 that is included in unbilled revenue is approximately $2.2 million. Approximately $1.6 million of revenue was billed in this period that had been recognized in previous periods.
Revenue recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 that was included in deferred revenue at the beginning of the period was approximately $3.0 million.
The increase in the deferred revenue balance during the year ended December 31, 2018 is primarily a result of approximately $4.5 million of prepayments added during the period, $2.0 million of which relates to an agreement for disposal of certain energy production related assets of the Company in December 2018, that was not included in the deferred revenue balance at the beginning of the year, offset by cash payments of $1.6 million received in advance of satisfying performance obligations.
Remaining Performance Obligations
Remaining performance obligations related to ASC 606 represent the aggregate transaction price allocated to performance obligations with an original contract term greater than one year, excluding certain maintenance contracts and all energy production contracts where a direct measurement of the value to the customer is used as a method of measuring progress towards completion of our performance obligation. Exclusion of these remaining performance obligations is due in part to the inability to quantify values based on unknown future levels of delivery and in some cases rates used to bill customers. Remaining performance obligations therefore consist of unsatisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations related to fixed price maintenance contracts and installation contracts.
As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate amount of the transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was approximately $16.6 million. The Company expects to recognize revenue of approximately 96% of the remaining performance obligations over the next 24 months, 45% recognized in the first 12 months and 51% recognized over the subsequent 12 months, and the remainder recognized thereafter.
Advertising Costs
The Company expenses the costs of advertising as incurred. For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, advertising expense was approximately $273,000 and $278,000, respectively.
Research and Development Costs
Research and development expenditures are expensed as incurred. The Company’s total research and development expenditures of approximately $1,298,000 and $937,000 were recognized for each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date, based on the estimated fair value of the award, and is recognized as an expense in the statements of operations over the requisite service period.
The determination of the fair value of share-based payment awards is affected by the Company’s stock price. For the awards prior to the Company being publicly traded, the Company considered the sales price of the Common Stock in private placements to unrelated third parties as a measure of the fair value of its Common Stock.
The Company utilizes actual forfeitures when calculating the expense for the period. Stock-based compensation expense recognized is based on awards that are ultimately expected to vest. The Company evaluates the assumptions used to value awards regularly and if factors change and different assumptions are employed, stock-based compensation expense may differ significantly from what has been recorded in the past. If there are any modifications or cancellations of the underlying unvested securities, the Company may be required to accelerate, increase or cancel any remaining unearned stock-based compensation expense.
Pursuant to ASC 505-50, Equity Based Payments to Non-Employees, the fair value of restricted Common Stock and stock options issued to nonemployees is revalued at each reporting period until the ultimate measurement date, as defined by ASC 505-50. The Company records the value of the instruments at the time services are provided and the instruments vest. Accordingly, the ultimate expense is not fixed until such instruments are fully vested.
See Note 12."Stockholders' equity" for a summary of the restricted stock and stock option activity under the Company's stock-based employee compensation plan for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.
Significant New Accounting Standards Adopted this Period
Revenue Recognition In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued an accounting standard update (ASU 2014-09) related to revenue from contracts with customers, which, along with amendments issued in 2015 and 2016, supersedes nearly all current U.S. GAAP guidance on this topic and eliminates industry-specific guidance. The underlying principle is to recognize revenue when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration that is expected to be received for those goods or services. The Company adopted this accounting standard update on a modified retrospective basis in the first quarter of 2018. See Revenue Recognition above for further discussion.
Investments in Equity Securities In January 2016, the FASB issued an accounting standard update related to investments in equity securities requiring unrealized holding gains and losses to be included in net income. Prior to this update, unrealized holding gains and losses related to available-for-sale securities were included in accumulated other comprehensive income and not included in determining net income. This accounting standard update became effective for the Company beginning in the first quarter of 2018 and is applied by means of a cumulative-effect adjustment to the balance sheet as of January 1, 2018. The Company adopted this accounting standard update in the first quarter of 2018 which resulted in reclassification of $165,317 of cumulative unrealized holding losses from accumulated other comprehensive loss to accumulated deficit. The future impact of recognizing unrealized holding gains or losses in net income is dependent on the movement in the stock prices related to such investments.
Business In January 2017, the FASB issued a new accounting standard that changes the definition of a business to assist entities with the evaluation of when a set of assets acquired or disposed of should be considered a business. The new standard requires that an entity evaluate whether substantially all of the fair value of the gross assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or group of similar identifiable assets; if so, the set of assets would not be considered a business. The new standard also requires that a business include at least one substantive process, and it narrows the definition of outputs. The Company adopted this standard as of January 1, 2018. Adoption of this new standard may result in more transactions being accounted for as asset acquisitions versus business combinations; however, the impact on our consolidated financial statements in future periods will depend on the facts and circumstances of future transactions.
Goodwill During 2018, the Company early-adopted the provisions of ASU 2017-04 which simplified goodwill impairment testing by eliminating the requirement to determine the implied value of goodwill.
Disclosure update The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently issued several final rules, including but not limited to SEC Final Rule Release No. 33-10532 Disclosure Update and Simplification (“Final Rule”), which amends certain redundant, duplicative, outdated, superseded or overlapping disclosure requirements.  This Final Rule is intended to facilitate disclosure information provided to investors and simplify compliance without significantly impacting the mix of information provided to investors. The amendments also expand the disclosure requirements regarding the analysis of stockholders' equity for interim financial statements, in which entities will be required to present a reconciliation for each period for which a statement of comprehensive income is required to be filed.  We adopted the Final Rule effective on November 5, 2018, which did not have any material impact on our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Significant New Accounting Standards or Updates Not Yet Effective
Leases In February 2016, the FASB issued an accounting standard update related to leases requiring lessees to recognize operating and financing lease liabilities on the balance sheet, as well as corresponding right-of-use assets. The new lease standard also makes some changes to lessor accounting and aligns key aspects of the lessor accounting model with the revenue recognition standard. In addition, disclosures will be required to enable users of financial statements to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. The accounting standard update will be effective for the Company beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 on a modified retrospective basis, and early adoption is permitted. The Company believes the adoption of this accounting standard update will result in recognition of lease liabilities and right of use assets related to operating leases of approximately $2.6 million without any cumulative impact on equity upon adoption.