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What types of things are NOT eligible for the Innovation Sandbox?
  • Demonstrations of technical feasibility alone (i.e., without the prospect for better or more efficient service or value to consumers).
  • Projects that enable certain subsets of consumers to avoid costs by shifting them onto others.
  • Exemptions from regulatory requirements on a permanent basis.
  • Requests to change a utility’s revenue requirement or rates.
  • At this stage, dedicated funding is not available by way of the OEB Innovation Sandbox. However, the OEB Innovation Sandbox is happy to work with projects that have obtained funding from an external source.
  • Requests for exemptions that are not within the OEB’s power to give. The OEB may grant exemptions from its own regulatory requirements, such as OEB electricity codes, OEB natural gas rules and OEB licences. However, subject to certain exceptions, the OEB cannot grant exemptions to requirements that are found in statutes or regulations.

Do I need to know whether I want to do a pilot project before contacting the OEB Innovation Sandbox?

No. Proponents are encouraged to contact the OEB Innovation Sandbox with innovative ideas at any stage of their development, even if they are not yet fully developed pilot projects. The OEB Innovation Sandbox Information Service can provide information and guidance to proponents at any stage.

Will I need a hearing for this?

The OEB expects that responses to OEB Innovation Sandbox proposals will typically be handled by OEB staff through an administrative process without a hearing.

How long will this take?

That depends. For innovators who only want to access the Information Service, OEB staff will meet within 20 days of a request for a meeting. For innovators who have a pilot project they want to proceed with, the process will conclude within 185 days at the latest, although the OEB’s objective is to understand the proponent’s project timelines and to work within those where possible.

What kind of exemptions from regulatory requirements might be available for a pilot project?

The OEB may grant exemptions from its own regulatory requirements, such as OEB electricity codes, OEB natural gas rules and OEB licences. However, subject to certain exceptions, the OEB cannot grant exemptions to requirements that are found in statutes or regulations.

Does the OEB communicate the outcome of innovation proposals tested in the OEB Innovation Sandbox?

The OEB shares lessons learned through reports posted to this webpage. Please see the section on confidentiality.

How does the OEB use the information obtained?

The OEB uses the information obtained to remain informed about innovative ideas and technological changes, as well as to consider future modifications to its regulatory framework that can support innovation.

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