Apply to the IES Program

To encourage participation from a wide array of potential contributors and foster a collaborative innovation ecosystem in Connecticut, there are three different pathways to apply to the IES Program

Phase 2 Evaluation Criteria

All eligible IES projects will receive a Phase 2 application on May 1, 2023. Phase 2 applications will be evaluated through the following criteria and IAC feedback:

Innovation Potential — The project must involve testing a new product, program, tariff, service, or business model that is not widely used in Connecticut and is conductive to scaling, replication, or serving as a potential model for others to adopt or deploy.

Project Implementation Tracking Plan — The project must have an Implementation Tracking Plan that is: (1) Reasonably achievable; (2) Outlines performance metrics; (3) Explicitly states a cadence for data collection; (4) Plots a timeline with execution stages and milestones, tied to cost recovery; and (5) itemizes the frequency and content of periodic progress reporting.

Project Benefits — The project should provide measurable and sustainable benefits for the following Connecticut-based perspectives: (1) Societal/Community; (2) Customer; (3) EDC/Grid.

Focus on Underserved Communities — The project must provide measurable benefits for Connecticut’s underserved communities through the following perspectives: (1) Percentage of participants served that are in identified underserved communities; and (2) Providing energy and non-energy benefits to underserved communities.

Advances Decarbonization — The project must provide measurable and sustainable benefits to support Connecticut’s goals to decarbonize its electric grid by delivering zero-carbon energy to customers by 2040 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Woman and/or Minority-owned Business — Has the project submitted a Connecticut or Federal Certification as a Woman and/or Minority-owned business? Note: This criteria is not a requirement and will not be reflected in the Phase 4 cost-benefit analysis, but is considered a benefit in the Phase 2 selection process.

Cycle 1 Theme Alignment — Does the project fit within the Cycle 1 priority theme of Demand-side Flexibility? Note: This criteria is not a requirement and will not be reflected in the Phase 4 cost-benefit analysis, but is considered a benefit in the Phase 2 selection process.

Pathways to Participate

1. Innovator

An Innovator refers to an applicant who is a product owner or entity that is not a utility in Connecticut. Innovator-led projects are anticipated to focus on innovative approaches or mechanisms to maximize flexibility of the electric grid. Innovator-led projects cannot directly affect grid infrastructure owned and operated by the EDCs.

2. Electric Distribution Company (EDC)

EDC-led projects are expected to focus on innovative customer programs and/or tariff structures. Illustrative examples of EDC-led projects could be the prototyping of an advanced critical peak pricing tariff for commercial customers or the development of a “bring your own device” program to enhance demand-side flexibility.

3. Collaborative Partnership

This pathway is for innovators seeking to partner with the Connecticut EDCs. A key goal of the IES Program is to create sufficient conditions for impactful collaborative engagements between cutting-edge technology companies and the EDCs. The EDCs have developed Preferred Focus Areas for product types and Market Outreach Plans to facilitate partnerships. Collaborative partnerships should be developed directly by the Innovator and the EDC and reflected in IES Program applications.

EDC Points of Contact 

  1. Eversource
  2. United Illuminating (UI) 

Who Can Apply

Both Connecticut-based and out-of-state innovators (who become licensed to do business in Connecticut within 30 days of being selected to apply to Phase 2 of the Program) can apply, so long as they fulfill the eligibility criteria. Eligibility for consideration in Phase 2 requires that any project applying to the IES Program: 

There is no limit to the number of projects that can be submitted to the IES Program, and each project application will be evaluated according to the Eligibility and Project Selection criteria.

Prospective applicants can attend or watch recordings of information sessions to learn more.

IES Cycle 1 Priority Theme: Demand-side Flexibility

Innovative Cycle 1 projects should ideally fit within the priority theme of Demand-side Flexibility. Demand-side Flexibility can be defined as the ability to shift or reduce electricity demand or consumption from a device’s normal electricity profile. This includes solutions that will help maximize the grid and end use flexibility (i.e. load control and optimization) to balance the electric system. Projects that fit within this theme will be given the most consideration.

The priority theme for Cycle 1 of the IES Program is Demand-side Flexibility, which may include: 

Advanced Forecasting:

This may include solutions related to advanced forecasting of energy flows and grid constraints.


This may include solutions related to the automated control of behind-the-meter resources.

Flexible Winter Peak:

This may include solutions related to the fast ramp up and down of resources to enable a flexible winter peak.

Thermal Storage:

This may include solutions such as heat pumps that enable the decoupling of heating and cooling demand from immediate power generation and supply availability.

Other innovation opportunities for Cycle 1 of the IES Program include the priorities identified in Connecticut’s Equitable Modern Grid Framework:

Project Selection Criteria

Relevance: The project must relate to electricity service delivery in Connecticut. 

Innovation: Projects must test a product, service, or business model that is not widely used in the Connecticut utility market.  Projects should be able to scale or serve as a model for future adoption.  

Readiness: The applicant must demonstrate their preparation and readiness for testing their product or service in a live environment. Testing plans must be well-developed and have clear objectives and measures. The tools and resources required to enable pilot testing must be in place at the time of application. 

Economic Benefit: Projects should have a positive impact on the Connecticut economy and ultimately reduce costs for Connecticut electricity customers. 

Cost-Effectiveness: Projects must identify expected costs and benefits to customers, EDCs, and non-participant utility customers. 

Programmatic or Market Gaps: Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how their project addresses one or more gaps in the market and provides clear additionality over existing EDC investments. 

Equity: Participants will be required to develop a credible action plan for prioritizing underserved communities within project implementation. The IES program will require proposals to prioritize hiring and working with vendors from underserved communities wherever possible.

    Contact Us

    Please note that the Phase 2 application is an example form only and should not be submitted until an applicant has been notified that their project is approved for Phase 2 submission, at which point a Phase 2 application will be provided directly to applicants via email

    Want more information or to speak with the Program Administrator? Feel free to reach out!