Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of significant accounting policies (Policies)

Summary of significant accounting policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Principles of Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
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. We 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 our accounts and the accounts of the entities in which we have a controlling financial interest. Those entities include our 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 us and the noncontrolling partner in each site. Each quarter, we calculate 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 our 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, 2020.
Investments in partnerships and companies in which we do not have a controlling financial interest but where we have significant influence, if any, 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.
Use of Estimates
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
Concentration of Credit Risk
Financial instruments that expose us to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable. We maintain our 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, 2020 and 2019 which exceeded the $250,000 federally insured limit were approximately $770,098 and $627,676, respectively. We have not experienced any losses in such accounts and thus believe that we are not exposed to any significant credit risk on cash.
    There was one customer who represented more than 10% of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 and one customer who represented more than 10% of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019.  We have approximately five hundred thirty-three customers who represented 100% of the revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020. There was no customers who represented more than 10% of the accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2020, and one as of December 31, 2019.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and Cash Equivalents
We consider all highly liquid instruments with an original maturity date of three months or less when purchased to be cash and cash equivalents. We have 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. We believe that we are not exposed to any significant credit risk on cash and cash equivalents.
Accounts Receivable
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, 2020 and 2019, the allowance for doubtful accounts was $418,000 and $75,000, 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. We periodically review 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
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.
Intangible Assets Intangible AssetsIntangible assets subject to amortization include costs incurred by us 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.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets Impairment of Long-lived AssetsLong-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.
    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, generally 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 2020 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 9."Goodwill").
We 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. We test 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 a probability weighted discounted cash flow analysis.
On January 1, 2019, we adopted the guidance under ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (“the new lease standard” or “ASC 842”) under the cumulative-effect method of transition where comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the standards in effect for those periods. The adoption did not result in any cumulative-effect adjustment to beginning retained earnings. We elected certain practical expedients upon adoption and therefore have not reassessed whether any expired or existing contracts contain leases, have not reassessed the lease classification for any expired or existing leases and have not reassessed initial direct costs for any existing leases.  
The new standard requires lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets as a right-of-use ("ROU") asset with a corresponding lease liability. ROU assets represent our right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Lease ROU assets and liabilities are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term.
Income (Loss) per Common Share Income (loss) per Common ShareWe compute basic income (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. We compute our diluted earnings per common share using the treasury stock method. For purposes of calculating diluted earnings per share, we consider our 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.
Segment Information Segment InformationOur 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.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes
We use 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.
We have adopted the provisions of the accounting standards relative to accounting for uncertainties in tax positions. These provisions provide guidance on the recognition, derecognition and measurement of potential tax benefits associated with tax positions. We elected to recognize interest and penalties related to income tax matters as a component of income tax expense in the statements of operations. We have analyzed our current tax return compliance positions and determined that no uncertain tax positions have been taken that would require recognition.
With few exceptions, we are no longer subject to possible income tax examinations by federal, state or local taxing authorities for tax years before 2017, with the exception of loss carryforwards in the event they are utilized in future years. Our tax returns are open to adjustment from 2001 forward, as a result of the fact that the we have loss carryforwards from those years, which may be adjusted in the year those losses are utilized.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments Fair Value of Financial InstrumentsOur 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.
Revenue Recognition
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 general and administrative expenses. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, $418,180 and $480,966 of shipping and handling costs were included in general and administrative expenses in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations, respectively. We elected to exclude from revenue any value add sales and other taxes which we collect concurrent with revenue-producing activities. These accounting policy elections are consistent with the manner in which we have 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, our business segmentation are aligned according to the nature and economic characteristics of our 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 years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.
Year Ended December 31, 2020
Products and Services Energy Production Total
Products $ 10,534,096  $ —  $ 10,534,096 
Installation services 5,805,497  —  5,805,497 
Maintenance services 10,077,805  —  10,077,805 
Energy production —  1,837,181  1,837,181 
     Total revenue $ 26,417,398  $ 1,837,181  $ 28,254,579 
Year Ended December 31, 2019
Products and Services Energy Production Total
Products 12,977,896  $ —  $ 12,977,896 
Installation services 7,505,964  —  7,505,964 
Maintenance services 9,801,754  —  9,801,754 
Energy production —  3,140,834  3,140,834 
     Total revenue $ 30,285,614  $ 3,140,834  $ 33,426,448 

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 are 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 our 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, 2020 that is included in unbilled revenue is approximately $2.0 million. Approximately $3.2 million of revenue was billed in this period that had been recognized in previous periods.
Revenue recognized during the year ended December 31, 2020 that was included in deferred revenue at the beginning of the period was approximately $1,512,670.
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.
Advertising Costs
Advertising Costs
We expense the costs of advertising as incurred. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, advertising expense was approximately $23,000 and $142,000, respectively.
Research and Development Costs Research and Development CostsResearch and development expenditures are expensed as incurred. Our total research and development expenditures were approximately $767,000 and $1,460,000 for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Stock-Based Compensation
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 our stock price. For the awards issued prior to our being publicly traded, we 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.
We utilize actual forfeitures when calculating the expense for the period. Stock-based compensation expense recognized is based on awards that are ultimately expected to vest. We evaluate 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, we may be required to accelerate, increase or cancel any remaining unearned stock-based compensation expense.
In the year ended December 31 2020, we adopted adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-07, Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting ("ASU 2018-07"), which substantially aligns the share-based payment accounting of non-employee awards with the accounting for employee awards. Upon the adoption on January 1, 2020, we re-measured the fair value of non-employee awards. There was no material impact on our consolidated financial statements as a result of the adoption of this guidance.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Significant New Accounting Standards Adopted this Period
Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.  In June 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments ("ASU 2016-13"). The main objective of ASU 2016-13 is to provide financial statement users with more decision-useful information about an entity's expected credit losses on financial instruments and other commitments to extend credit at each reporting date. To achieve this objective, the amendments in this update replace the incurred loss impairment methodology in current GAAP with a methodology that reflects expected credit losses and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to develop credit loss estimates. Subsequent to issuing ASU 2016-13, the FASB issued ASU 2018-19, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses, for the purpose of clarifying certain aspects of ASU 2016-13. ASU 2018-19 has the same effective date and transition requirements as ASU 2016-13. We adopted ASU 2016-13 on January 1, 2020, the adoption of which did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.
Significant New Accounting Standards or Updates Not Yet Effective
Reference Rate Reform. In March 2020, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update. 2020-04 (Topic 848), Reference Rate Reform - Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting ("ASU 2020-04"), which provides temporary optional expedients and exceptions to the existing guidance on contract modifications and hedge accounting to ease the financial reporting burdens related to the expected market transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other interbank offered rates to alternative reference rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. The standard was effective upon issuance and may generally be applied through December 31, 2022, to any new or amended contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions that reference LIBOR. We are currently evaluating the impact of the transition and disclosure requirements of the standard on its consolidated financial statements, but do not believe that the adoption of ASU 2020-04 will have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes: In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12 (Topic 740) Income Taxes — Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes, which enhances and simplifies various aspects related to accounting for income taxes. This ASU is to be applied on a prospective basis with the exception of certain amendments that are to be applied on either a retrospective or modified retrospective basis. The new standard is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. We do not expect the adoption to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.