hero image - faq
What types of things are NOT eligible for the Innovation Sandbox?
  • Demonstrations of technical feasibility alone (i.e., without sufficient or direct prospect for better or more efficient service or enhanced value to consumers)
  • Projects that enable certain subsets of consumers to avoid costs by shifting them onto others
  • Requests to change (or to exempt the proponent from) regulatory instruments on a permanent basis
  • Requests to change a utility’s revenue requirement or rates
  • Funding. At this stage, dedicated funding is not available to support initiatives that come through the Sandbox
  • Requests for exemptions that are not within the OEB’s power to give. Although the OEB will be open to all types of projects that innovators may be interested in testing, the OEB may only grant exemptions from OEB Codes, Rules, licensing requirements, and under certain statutory provisions, but not generally from statutes and regulations

Do I need to know what stream my proposal fits into before applying?

No. While proponents are encouraged to identify as specifically as possible the presence of any regulatory requirements that may impair a project’s feasibility, the Sandbox process is expected to enable OEB staff, supported with information provided by proponents, to determine the applicable Sandbox stream.

Will I need a hearing for this?

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

How long will this take?

The OEB’s objective is to understand the proponent’s project timelines and to work within those. In all cases, once a sufficiently detailed written proposal is submitted, we will conclude the process within 185 days.

Can non-regulated entities submit a proposal that requires the participation of an as-yet unnamed regulated entity?

While partnership arrangements in advance are preferred, the OEB may consider steps to support field testing where a project proposal demonstrates the potential for clear value to consumers.

What kind of exemptions might be available from the OEB?

Generally speaking, the OEB is empowered to exempt regulated entities from requirements under OEB Codes, Rules, licences or Orders. The OEB is also authorized to grant exemptions from certain statutory provisions. Exemption determinations will be informed by the OEB’s consideration of the public interest and the OEB’s statutory objectives.

Will the OEB communicate the outcome of innovation proposals tested in the Regulatory Sandbox?

The OEB will share lessons learned through postings to this webpage.

How will the OEB use the information obtained?

The OEB will use the information obtained to remain informed of innovative ideas and technological changes, as well as to consider future modifications to its regulatory framework.

Will a temporary exemption be automatically extended beyond the exemption period if a proponent wants to extend the Sandbox trial?

No. Exemptions made under the Sandbox will be temporary. Any proponent seeking an extension or permanent approval would have to submit another application to the OEB.