How the OEB chose the Innovation Sandbox Challenge themes

In November 2022, the OEB held a poll to seek public input on the theme of the Challenge. Four options were presented. Respondents also had an opportunity to raise new theme ideas.

Most respondents chose “Innovative strategies to enhance consumers’ understanding of their role in the energy transition,” followed by “Innovation in digitalization and data use” and “Moving from Pilot to Implementation.”

Suggestions on other themes included topics such as grid services, alternative utility practices, regulatory reform, energy management and deep retrofit technologies. These suggestions have been incorporated into the theme descriptions, where appropriate, and can be incorporated by proponents as part of the scope of the project.

Rather than selecting one theme for the Challenge, the OEB has decided to give proponents the opportunity to select between the two Sandbox Challenge themes.

The OEB has decided to pursue “Recommendations for how to move from pilots to implementation based on past and current Ontario pilot projects” in response to stakeholder feedback expressing the need to ensure that innovative arrangements that provide benefits to consumers have the opportunity to scale up, and that barriers to implementing innovative solutions beyond the pilot stage should be identified. In addition, the OEB is aware that other funding programs already exist to support projects that may test digitalization and data use (e.g., Grid Innovation Fund, Sustainable Development Technology Canada).

The OEB looks forward to reviewing the proposals.

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