Or, if you prefer: Fridges could be switched off without owner's consent to reduce strain on power stations - Telegraph This has been lumbering on behind only slightly ajar doors for years, arcane debates about how to manage grids as they become more prone to variation in supply as generation capacity & continuity is sacrificed before the great Greens Gods. One of the solutions offered is "Demand Side Management". That, in case you had not guessed, is you being managed, although it gets dressed up in bullshit describing how this enables consumers to manage their own energy consumption more efficiently. This "demand management" can take many forms, some relatively harmless like consumer education to the more blunt, such as Critical Peak Pricing, which charges penal rates should you dare to switch something on at certain times and Real Time Pricing which puts consumers at the total mercy of the corrupt and distorted energy market. At the heart of all this is the Smart Grid, which whilst not a bad idea of itself now carries a vast can of Eco-worms because it has been lighted on by the Green babblers as the way forward in terms of stringing together a patchwork of ever more ropey electricity generation sources in the hope it will somehow not keep falling over. And at the extreme end of this, and very attractive because it is seen as an "easy" option, is Automated Appliance On/Off and Smart Plugs. Which you cannot control.