General Electric is developing “smart” appliances that can integrate with “smart meters” and thus potentially schedule loads in a way that reduces maximum demand.
With time of use pricing in place, the GE system will use pricing information to schedule loads real time. So for example if a washing machine was running it might switch it off if the price of electricity increased, then switch it back on again when the price dropped.
GE have a dedicated website looking at the smart grid as part of its “eco-imagination” drive. If you have the patience for the flash animation to download its a superficial visual view of the smart grid and smart meters, but with little detail of the technology.