It got hot in the house today, and it's all because the power company turned off my air conditioner. When it started going over 88 I began to wonder if it was time to give them a call.
What happened is my A/C has a box on it that allows the power company to cycle it off when needed, and apparently today was a day they needed to manage their power generation a little more closely.
It's called EnergyWise and what it does is cycle the air conditioner up and down in 15 minute increments so that the total demand for power across the grid is lowered, and they don't have to fire up additional power plants or turbines or whatever to make more electricity. I get $25 a year back by allowing them to do that and so far it's worth it.
The cycling ends by 7 pm, so I just went out to dinner with friends. When I got home everything was nice and cool just the way I'm used to.
I also have the Time-Of-Use meter. Basically it records when power is used, so daytime power costs a lot more than evening and weekends. That just means running the dryer outside of peak daytime hours. That saves me $45 or so a year, and that more than paid for the dinner tonight at a nice cool restaurant.
My friend complimented me on working towards ecologically responsible use of resources. I laughed! It was more about saving money in so many ways with only minor inconveniences that it was worth it.
FWIW: I worked for Progress Energy for a grand total of 9 days and took a serious disliking to them after that. Learned a few things since then though.