What is an intelligent plug?

An intelligent plug switches any appliance on or off when it receives a signal to do so. They can also be programmed to switch on and off at preset times. They can be controlled from anywhere, for example using a smartphone, through a wireless broadband connection. I can switch my lights in Devon on and off from my iPhone whether I am in England or in New Zealand – anywhere that has a broadband connection. It would be easy to delegate switching to a supplier or service company such as Kiwi Power to take advantage of lower prices at different times of day.

Intelligent plugs are already available, for example the  Belkin Wemo switch. But you probably don't need one yet, normal time switches are easier and cheaper.