To clarify a few issues commented by others.....
I live in California. My friend in Scotland provided this most interesting link regarding our power problems (more exciting than our earthquakes!).
1. "Time of use" electricity: For about 30 years I've been on a plan that charged me higher rates from about 12 noon to 6:00 PM weekdays while giving me lower rates the rest of the day. Great, since I was working and no one was at home during the day. This type of plan is still in effect, however, it is voluntary and not many people sign up since it requires a new "smart" meter that costs an additional $2.00 or so a month.
2. "Selling back" electricity from one's solar power on the roof is a myth. Now, in my new home, I have solar power. However, the power company is NOT buying the excess back; they merely give me credit during the summer months which I use during the colder winter months. Thus, my monthly rates are still considerably less than those who do not have solar.
3. Walking around naked or in a bikini in the winter is an exaggeration; however, many many Americans insist on walking barefoot inside their homes even in the winter and turn up the thermostat because they are cold! I always have shoes or slippers on, mindful of the winter we spent at Greensted Green, near Chipping Ongar, Essex, England in a cute cottage (with no damp course), and where I went to bed with socks, thermal underwear and a flannel nightgown. One morning I removed the socks and stepped barefoot on the carpet! It squished back. Arrrgh. My husband checked his shoes that he left under the bed and they were green/grey with mold.
4. Yes, Americans are wasteful. But so are many others in other parts of the world.
5. I enjoyed reading all the comments, the sense of humour, and not much the vitriolic.