Hello, boys and girls. Today's edition of The Motley Fool is brought to you by the word "negawatts." Let's learn about this term.

Definition: Negawatts take electrical demand off the grid as opposed to generating more supply, or megawatts.

Used in a sentence: When I shut the lights off, EnerNOC (Nasdaq: ENOC) credits me with negawatts.

Country of origin: United States.

Why in the world should we care about negawatts? Because demand response is becoming big business, and as energy prices rise the easiest way to cut costs is to cut demand. EnerNOC and Comverge (Nasdaq: COMV) have been working on this for years in commercial buildings, but until recently they were operating in some unknown territory.

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, aka FERC, put negawatts on the same footing as megawatts in the wholesale market. That gives demand response companies and commercial buildings another reason to smile, because a federal agency is blessing payments to them for the negawatts they provide.

This also comes at a time when the big dogs in commercial electrical equipment are starting to get into the game. Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) are building demand response businesses as natural extensions to current offerings, and even Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is dabbling in the space. The thought for Microsoft is: The more technology it can get into a home or office, the "smarter" it will be with energy use. This started with Microsoft Hohm, but seeing the momentum in the commercial space Microsoft sees an opportunity there.

For now, EnerNOC will be the biggest beneficiary of negawatts, and after hitting new 52-week lows recently, the stock may be ripe for the picking. The Motley Fool Rule Breakers team has put EnerNOC on its buy list and fellow Fool Alyce Lomax added shares to her Rising Star portfolio.

Do you agree that EnerNOC is a buy right now? Leave your thoughts in our comments section and be sure to add EnerNOC to My Watchlist for all of our Foolish analysis.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.