This may sound too good to be true, but its not. The future may be bringing us appliances that can sense when the national power grid is over-taxed and switch off or down to reduce energy use.
Scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., found that providing homeowners with smart appliances and information on how to save money cut their energy costs but also reduced overall power consumption during peak use periods, when the nation’s aging power grid is most susceptible to breakdowns.
The whole story is here, and is an easy and informative read. I would be more than happy to have a dryer that might, if the need arises, shift in mid load to tumbling without heat for a short while, or have my refrigerator compressor run a bit less if it meant saving energy and possibly preventing a large power outage.