OEB supports six projects through its Innovation Sandbox Challenge

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has selected six projects to receive one-time total funding of $1.5 million to support innovation in the energy sector as part of its Innovation Sandbox Challenge.

The OEB launched the Innovation Sandbox Challenge in response to sector feedback relating to the need for funding for innovation. Earlier this year, the OEB invited project submissions focusing on two themes based on public input. The Challenge: how to move pilots to broader implementation and innovative strategies to enhance customers’ understanding of their role in the energy transition, a global shift towards a more sustainable, renewable energy future.

The OEB has selected the following projects for funding:

  • Alectra Utilities Corp. (Alectra) will build upon an existing customer engagement platform to test the ability of residential customers with Level 2 electric vehicle chargers to participate in demand response events. During demand response events, customers reduce or eliminate their energy use at times when the electricity system is experiencing high demand. Alectra will receive $325,000.
  • Hydro One Networks Inc. will engage low-income customers to help them play a more active role in and better understand the effect of demand response in the energy transition. It will receive $174,000.
  • Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc. will build a digital tool to help residential and small business customers understand and assess their energy transition options (e.g., solar, storage, heat pumps). It will receive $120,000.
  • Pollution Probe will develop a framework to help Ontario’s rural, remote and Indigenous communities better understand, participate in and benefit from energy innovation. It will receive $100,000.
  • Powerconsumer Inc. (Powerconsumer) will leverage existing pilot projects to enable scalable flexibility markets. These markets are a way for distributors to allow for demand-side participation from customers, encouraging those customers to modify their level and pattern of electricity usage. Powerconsumer will receive $400,000.
  • Taykwa Tagamou Nation will investigate the challenges and opportunities arising from the energy transition for Ontario’s First Nations communities. It will receive $351,000.

The funding comes from administrative monetary penalties collected by the OEB through its compliance activities.

“The energy transition requires bold thinking. The Innovation Sandbox Challenge is a perfect example of how we’re harnessing innovation to address that transition head on. Working collectively with these diverse, forward-thinking proponents, we can come up with practical solutions that deliver meaningful outcomes for consumers.” 

– Susanna Zagar, CEO.

Additional Information and Resources

About the OEB Innovation Sandbox

The OEB Innovation Sandbox supports projects testing new activities, services and business models in Ontario’s electricity and natural gas sectors. As the first regulatory sandbox in Canada’s energy sector, it has provided information and guidance to dozens of proponents since its launch in 2019.

About the OEB

The OEB is the independent regulator of Ontario’s electricity and natural gas sectors. It protects the interests of consumers and supports the collective advancement of the people of Ontario. Its goal is to deliver public value through prudent regulation and independent adjudicative decision-making which contributes to Ontario’s economic, social and environmental development.


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