"July 6, 2010. New York City turned into a veritable pressure cooker as temperatures rose to a record 103 degrees Fahrenheit. But, for the most part, the lights stayed on in spite of the heavy strain on the electrical grid created by millions of air conditioners on full blast. The reason? Utilities across the country are rapidly replacing the old, "dumb" power grid, with smart grids that use two-way digital technology to keep track of power use, help customers monitor electricity costs, and integrate renewable sources into the energy mix. While many utilities are still in the early stages of rolling out smart meters (electrical meters with real-time sensors), the smart grid is already beginning to affect the way utilities handle events like last week's heat wave."
Using technology that allowed the energy utility to cycle on and off area thermostats, the region avoided a blackout caused by overuse of energy.