110v power is a myth
>Well, they could always switch to 220v for local power lines ...should save quite a bit ...
Err,,, sorry, the US already uses 230v household current. Its two phase (split around ground) so for low power household circuits it appears as 115v. Higher power circuits - cookers, driers and so on -- use 230v.
What they're doing locally at the moment is offering people a rebate on their A/C if they sign up for remote control of their thermostat. The utility can regulate demand to match supply, avoiding brownouts or power cuts. We (in California) inherited a bastardized deregulation scheme similar to the way the UK's privatization was set up which has resulted in the situation where the suppliers get paid a fixed price (by the state) regardless of the power used. They've got a positive incentive to reduce power consumption -- not all bad, because we get CFLs at giveaway prices and so on -- but its still a bit of a scam (our electricity prices went through the roof after deregulation due to rampant speculation -- it got stabilized by the State but we're still paying though the nose for power).