Canada's Enbridge (ENB 0.75%) has a dividend yield of around 6.4% today. France's TotalEnergies (TTE 1.45%) has a yield of roughly 4.6%. Given that the stocks in the S&P 500 yield an average of only 1.6% or so (even after falling into a bear market), income investors have a lot to like in Enbridge and TotalEnergies.

Still, these two stocks are tied to the energy sector, which might put some investors off given the global push toward cleaner energy alternatives. Don't let that stop you -- this pair of energy giants is changing along with the world.

1. Enbridge: 4% clean-energy earnings and growing

Enbridge, which owns energy infrastructure, is one of the largest pipeline stocks in North America, sporting an $80 billion market cap. The bulk of its business involves moving oil and natural gas, including a natural gas utility. All of these operations are either fee-based, regulated, or driven by contracts. Although the world is moving away from these carbon fuels, they aren't going away overnight, so there's likely to be decades of demand ahead.

An oil well with clean energy wind turbines in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The still-strong demand, meanwhile, has left Enbridge with roughly CA$2 billion in extra cash flow each year. Basically, the company has more money than it knows what to do with. It has been focusing on buying back stock, which reduces the overall cost of the dividend and increases per-share earnings. Debt reduction is also an option. But management is always on the lookout for high-return internal capital spending opportunities and acquisitions, which would be the best-case scenarios for using the extra cash flow. 

Right now, the company has capital investment plans totaling around CA$13 billion that will last through 2027. So there's a material amount of money going toward growth. A key factor here is that roughly CA$2.8 billion of that spending (roughly 22%) is going toward the company's clean energy business, which only makes up around 4% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). In other words, this high-yield energy company is rewarding investors well via dividends even as it easily invests for a future that will include more renewables (in the world and in its own portfolio).

2. TotalEnergies: Going all in

TotalEnergies is a fairly similar story, but there's more variability in the company's financial results. With a $149 billion market cap, it is one of the largest integrated energy companies on the planet. Basically, being integrated means that TotalEnergies' portfolio spans from the oil well to the oil pump, with a lot of stuff in between, like chemicals and refining. This helps to smooth out earnings in an inherently cyclical industry, since some divisions actually benefit from falling energy prices. Still, TotalEnergies, like its peers, tends to do very well when energy prices are high.

That's the case today, leading TotalEnergies to increase its dividend 5% in 2022 with an extra payment of 1 euro. That special dividend is basically a way to reward investors during the good times without increasing the regular dividend, since oil prices are inherently volatile. On top of that, however, the company has also been working to reduce leverage, expecting to have zero net debt (debt minus cash on the balance sheet) by the end of the year. Big payouts and a strengthening financial position are both shareholder-friendly things.

In addition to these moves, TotalEnergies is using today's strong results to help jump-start its efforts to grow in the clean energy space. At this point, management has dedicated about a third of its capital spending efforts to electricity and clean energy investments. That's not a small number, either, given that the company plans to spend between $14 billion and $18 billion a year through 2025. Clearly, TotalEnergies is focused on making investors' lives better today via big dividends and ensuring it can supply the energy needs of the future.

For years and years to come

The big takeaway here isn't actually that you can get big dividend yields from Enbridge and TotalEnergies. It is that they are both investing heavily in clean energy, which will help them adjust to the changing energy environment around them. And that is what will allow them to continue to generate big passive income streams for investors for years to come. If you like dividends and want to include some energy sector exposure in your portfolio, this pair of high-yield stocks is an attractive way to do it.