In the mobile industry policy control and differentiating bandwidth and service is one of the key topics at the moment. Not only to correlated usage and price, but also to allow communication operators to establish new business models.
In parallel there is a lot of hype about smart (power) grids equipped with smart meters that allow to monitor and report usage and costs in real-time to the customer.
No in utilities there is the deep-rooted assumptions that power, like water and gas is a commodity, but taking the above two aspects together the next question is when and how to differentiate your electricity. The smart meter would actually know for which appliances the power is used. How to do this? Maybe just by adding a small device at the power outlet that talks to the smart meter and reports usage per applicance.
What to use it for ? Well you could start thinking about cross bundling. The retail shop of your choice would offer you a bonus on your refrigerators power usage whenever you shop their. Or you would actually get it for free.
Or advertisers would cross finance your TV power supply for you to watch more programs. Or a car manufacturer could cross-finance the recharging costs for your electric car.
What would be the benefit? Well, it would at least increase the flexibility in business models and the power of this is visible with one of the most successful cross-financing business models today at Google.
Admittedly there are a few details to be worked out yet, but what an opportunity if not all electricity is created equal.