Grid Sandbox: An online innovation platform connecting utilities to customers

House Illustration

The Grid Sandbox is an online innovation sandboxing platform for utilities to radically accelerate and scale solutions for a clean, reliable, and affordable electricity grid. It makes it easy for utilities to learn from and engage with their customers, like understanding their evolving loads, behaviours, and preferences for clean energy services -- ranging from efficiency, distributed energy resources (DERs), and demand response. The sandbox platform also helps households learn about opportunities to invest in home energy retrofits, self-production, storage, and EV charging infrastructure while making it easy for them to try out new technologies, rates, and utility services.

In partnership with a local Calgary utility, a pilot of the platform will be launched with 10 or more Calgary homes, giving each access to a free virtual home energy audit, end-use energy consumption and production forecasting, and virtual billing. In exchange, the utility will learn from and engage with participating homes -- informing future rate designs, and energy service offerings. A series of virtual DER models like solar PV, storage, and smart EV chargers will also be developed, allowing customers to virtually install in their homes. This will allow each home to understand the costs, benefits, and impact of these new technologies on the bill and lifestyles.

The project goal is to make developing, testing, and evaluating utility and grid solutions easy and fast, because we don't have another decade to spare when it comes to piloting small-scale climate solutions.


Key project stakeholders

  • Utilities
  • Municipalities
  • Policymakers and program managers
  • Energy service companies
  • Homeowners and community groups


Grid Sandbox logo
ENMAX Power logo
The City of Calgary logo
Rewatt Power logo

The Grid Sandbox project is made possible by financial contributions from Alberta Ecotrust and RBC Tech for Nature Fund.

Alberta Ecotrust logo