Actually, there is a lot of room in between where intelligence can help the home owner substantially.
There are huge differences in incremental costs for power generation and lines. The cost of switching on a peaking natural gas turbine plant for peak power generation increases the cost of electricity by insane amounts, from $50-200/Mwh to $20,000/Mwh (NZ numbers).
So, providers implement time-of-day metering which roughly matches up with demand. It still doesn't match up with the provider's incremental costs, but it's a signal. What would happen if they could pass it back in much more fine grained fashion?
Take a look at your dominant sources of power consumption:
1) Hot Water Heating - if electric, this is 25% of the household bill.
2) Heating/Cooling - another 50%
3) Fridge - 5%
All those items can be shifted by _hours_ without changing your comfort. That's 80% of a household's load which can be shifted/shed in times of high cost. If only you knew!
Now, add in fine-grained demand metering and charging and then add a signal back to your devices.