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Power Play: Making money in energy

John Gress | Getty Images

The energy sector is down 14 percent year-to-date as oil prices plummeted this year.

But 2016 could be a much better year for energy stocks and now is the time to buy them.

Heartland Financial Chief Investment Officer Nancy Tengler tells CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Wednesday she is increasing her exposure to energy.

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"Historically these cyclical downtrends have been great opportunities for the major integrated companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil. The managements have confirmed their commitment to the dividends. That is because these management teams and boards of directors set the dividend as a portion of long-term sustainable earnings power," Tengler said.

She says owning these stocks won't be a straight line from here, but she likes the group at these levels.

"ExxonMobil yields 3.6 percent and has trailing one-year growth of 6.7 percent," Tengler said.

Chevron and ExxonMobil are lower during trading.