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

Applications are considered through a two-phase process for each Program Cycle:

Cycle 2: Phase 1 Applications are due by 2/1/2024

Pathways to Participate

In the Phase 1 application, applicants will discuss their needs, support, and discussions with the EDCs to help the Program Administration team and IAC determine which pathway is a best fit for the successful deployment of their proposed project.

1. Innovator

An Innovator refers to an applicant who is a product owner or entity that is not an EDC 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) 

Phase 1: Who Can Apply

Both Connecticut-based and out-of-state innovators (who become licensed to practice business in Connecticut) can apply, so long as they fulfill the following eligibility criteria: 

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.

Phase 2: Project Selection Criteria

Projects that pass Phase 1’s eligibility criteria will receive a Phase 2 application via email from the Program Administration team by May 2024. Please see the Program Details page for more information on the Phase 2 process. The Program Administration team will score projects in Phase 2 according to the following 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.

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    Please note that the Phase 2 application was the form used for Cycle 1, but will be modified for Cycle 2. This serves as 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!

    Read more: Apply