*I don't think that anything surprises me anymore. With so many homeowners doing their own work without experience, insight or tools anything is possible.
In several condo developments that I service there is a relay and control box tied into the electric meter. It shuts the electric water heater off during the day and turns it on at night and weekends. There is a button to push that will heat the water for one hour during the day if needed. Sometimes they go bad and I get a call. The power company no longer supports this program. The customer has two choices. They can pay me (Or another contractor) to remove it or contact the third party service company that the power company has contracted to remove it. I give out the number to the customer and let them decide. Most of the time they go with the third party provider because it is free.
Some developments have a box tied into the A/C condenser outside which the power company can cycle on and off during peak periods.