said by Dude111:
YOU ARE PAYING THEM,WHAT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO TURN YOUR STUFF OFF??
Electricity unlike other forms of energy is very difficult to store. The grid has to constantly maintain a delicate balance between generation and consumption. Peak power generation is extremely expensive.
Utilities offer discounts to customers if they allow power to be cut during peak times. I'm serviced by public service of NH with plain old mechanical meters. There are optional heating and hot water rates that disable use during peak times and other rates that allow the utility to disable power as needed during peak times using radio control typically a few time a year. Large user have been dealing with peak time of day charges for years.
Here is a link to the PSNH program called Heatsmart:
»www.psnh.com/SaveEnergyMoney/For ··· ing.aspx
Ultimately if the utility is unable to shed enough load they institute brownout procedures.
Personally I think time of day billing for residential customers will be a good thing, to reduce the need for expensive peaking plants. However rather then having the utility shed load directly I'd much rather see some sort of more autonomous system where your home network is aware of time of day energy costs and communicates with smart appliances to limit peak load.