President Barack Obama's promise to attack climate change is likely to light a fire under federal agencies slow to comply with a mandate to cut energy use - which could be very good news for companies that specialize in systems that save power.

Waiting in the wings are the likes of Honeywell International Inc, Johnson Controls Inc and Ameresco Inc that are ready to carry out heating and cooling system upgrades, lighting retrofits and similar projects in some of the government's 500,000 buildings.

Efficiency projects, according to many, are a key way the government can reduce its own energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions without seeking additional funds from Congress.

Many of these projects are implemented under so-called energy savings performance contracts in which a company develops, installs and arranges financing for improvements to boost energy efficiency and lower costs. The energy service company guarantees the project's energy savings and services are repaid through those savings.

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