The Smart Grid is on the Horizon
The "Smart Grid" is coming. It's not here yet. But it is coming along slowly in baby steps, one at a time. Soon, you will be paying extra for running your clothes dryer, oven, and other appliances during hot summer days when the electric grid is under high demand from heating and cooling systems operating during peak electrical use hours. The electricity you buy during peak hours will cost more than off-peak hours.
You can look at it another way, you will be rewarded for running your clothes dryer and other electrical devices during off-peak hours. For example, after the sun goes down, you will receive a significant discount price for electric use during non-peak hours. It is a 2 way street.
The greatest advantage of the smart grid is that you will be able to control your heating, cooling, appliances, lighting, and more, from your office, your car, anywhere you are at through the internet. This will help you save on energy costs and energy wasted.
We are still quite a ways away. Smart meter deployment is the first step and it is being rolled out, slowly. (My house has not yet received a smart meter.) Also, our appliances will have to be upgraded to energy smart. Here again, energy smart appliances are being rolled out by manufacturers.
Finally, we will all need an energy smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are being used and tested throughout the USA.