Target Rock Advisors LLC has identified 15  "high performance" domestic energy utilities that excel in sustainable operations as part of a utility sustainability ranking it released today.

The top five utilities among the 15 are:

1.    Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE)
2.    Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL)
3.    PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG)
4.    Edison International (NYSE: EIX)
5.    Avista Corporation (NYSE: AVA)

The 15 U.S. companies comprise the Target Rock High Sustainability Index. They were selected based on performance scores and rankings assigned by Target Rock's sustainability scoring system, which relies primarily on actual operating results.  

As a group, the stocks of the utilities in the index outperformed both utility-specific sector indexes and broader market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, for the ten-year period ending December 31, 2011.

"There is a growing focus on sustainability, both globally and within the U.S. However, the metrics for effectively assessing sustainable performance by utilities has been lacking," said Target Rock CEO Richard Rudden.

"Investing in the sustainable utility sector appears to make a lot of sense," he said, "Many pension funds and aging investor populations seek less volatile, longer term returns comprised largely of current income through dividends, but with moderate upside stock price potential as well."

The company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., has published a family of ten sustainability-related indexes. A list of all utilities and indexes, as well as information on their historical stock performance and underlying sustainability scores and rankings, are available at In addition to its indexes, Target Rock provides utility industry executives with services to assist companies in meeting their sustainability objectives.