Historically, utilities have had zero visibility beyond the substationin regards to how much power gets consumed by whom at a given point intime. Lights flickering? It’s often a symptom of low voltage.
To get around the problem, utilities typically “over-juice” theircustomers to ensure that the minimum threshold is being met. Sincevoltage gradually decreases on distribution feeder lines as the cumulative load increases, the voltage must be transmitted at ahigh enough level so that the very last consumer on the line gets atleast the minimum standard of 114 volts during peak load (while those at the front don’t get more than 126 volts).
The result of this practice, however, is higher — and frankly unfair– bills, but also more greenhouse gas emissions and all the othercorresponding problems associated with (unnecessarily) burning fossilfuels.