The Advisory Committee on Innovation delivers recommendations to the OEB

The Advisory Committee on Innovation submitted its report to the Chair of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), providing recommendations on advancing its regulatory work to meet the demands of the evolving energy sector.

The Committee was convened by the Chair of the OEB in January 2018, following the release of the OEB’s Strategic Blueprint: Keeping Pace with an Evolving Energy Sector. The broad actions described in the report are intended to support cost-effective innovation in energy services to consumers. Its recommendations centre around:

  • Enabling market innovations and supporting customer choice by providing more detailed and timely information about system needs and conditions
  • Making roles and obligations between distributors and technology proponents clearer and more consistent 
  • Developing pathways for innovation through simpler and more predictable regulatory processes 
  • Considering how best to balance utilities’ incentives to consider and select the best value solutions to meet system and customer needs in an evolving marketplace 

The OEB’s Strategic Blueprint specifically acknowledges the changes in technology occurring in the energy sector and sets out strategic objectives for the OEB to respond to that transformation. To benefit from guidance and input from a broad range of stakeholders, the OEB convened the Advisory Committee. Chaired by Paul Murphy, Chair of MaRS Advanced Energy Centre’s Advisory Board, the Committee is comprised of members with a diverse range of skills and experience. The Committee was asked to assist the OEB in sharpening its focus on enhancing efficiency, cost effectiveness, innovation and value for energy consumers. 

“We value the opportunity to receive the Committee’s expert advice on actions we can take as a regulator that will support and enable grid modernization and consumer choice,” said Rosemarie T. Leclair, Chair of the OEB. “This report will inform the OEB’s next steps along its multi-year journey toward a regulatory framework that will meet the challenges of the future.” 

The Advisory Committee made 14 specific recommendations to the OEB, which were intended to accommodate a range of possible futures. With the Committee’s input, the OEB will initiate work to consider in greater detail how regulation can best support the evolution of the sector, and unlock opportunities for greater value and efficiency driven by new technology and business models. 

The OEB thanks the Advisory Committee members for their work. As a next step, the OEB will invite stakeholders to a session to discuss the contents of the report and provide feedback on key considerations the OEB should include in the planning and prioritization of its work.

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