Consumers Energy will help up to 100,000 customers buy smart thermostats as part of an effort to minimize the need for expensive peak power.
The Illinois utility has partnered with a California company called Xage to test out its blockchain-based software.
Several utilities are testing new programs and technology to encourage drivers to fill up batteries during off-peak hours.
A Federal Communications Commission proposal would expand Wi-Fi traffic to part of the spectrum used by utilities.
As utilities deploy smart grid technology, more are also investing in telecom infrastructure to transmit data.