The US is experimenting with variable ricing of different kinds: the utilities have been pressured into offering various schemes. The approach seems somewhat half-harted, the results partially positive and partially negative. Unfortunately the survey reported here is not for free.
Herewith a notable quote:
Of the utilities participating in the research, 75 percent had rolled out some form of pricing program as part of a larger smart grid effort, including time of use, critical peak pricing, critical peak rebate or peak time rebate, or another type of dynamic or complex pricing program. For those that were involved in TOU programs, 62 percent were fully deployed. Surprisingly, 20 percent of utilities say these programs were not optional, customers had to participate whether they wanted to or not, even without regulatory requirements mandating them to do so.
When it comes to customer satisfaction with these programs, mandatory or not, utilities are reporting a generally favorable attitude toward these pricing programs, although the industry as a whole is still uncertain about the larger impacts of these pricing programs on customer satisfaction. High opt-out rates indicate to the contrary that utilities still have a ways to go in educating customers on why they should participate in these programs.
And a link to the press release of the research company itself which is less informational: http://smartenergy-ip.com/press_releases/061613.html