GridExchange enables exchange of energy between a utility and its customers

Energy consumers are increasingly adopting distributed energy resources (DERs) - such as rooftop solar panels, battery storage, and electric vehicles (EVs) - which enable them to produce enough energy to power their homes, help optimize their energy consumption, and transition from being consumers of energy to becoming prosumers of energy. This shift has the potential to increase the amount of clean energy produced in our communities thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lowering energy bills, and adding resiliency to the grid.

For the utilities, customer DERs represent an opportunity to leverage local, flexible power, and use that to reduce peak demand and save or defer capital investment on infrastructure. The challenge lies in ensuring flexible contracting, secure transactions, and speedy settlements for many small customer DERs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

GridExchange is a blockchain based software platform that enables customers with DERs to participate in an energy marketplace with their utility. Available on web and mobile, GridExchange App features a secure, real-time energy exchange, which has a robust settlement process with instant financial compensation and rewards.

Girl on a bike – What is GridExchange?

The Concept: What makes GridExchange unique?

GridExchange allows energy consumers to leverage their DERs and engage in a two-way energy flow with their utility. It matches available customer energy resources with power grid needs through real-time, secure energy data exchanges, smart contracting, and settlement of financial compensation and rewards, all based on blockchain technology.

GridExchange App demonstrates the following objectives:

  • Use of blockchain technology to facilitate DER participation in grid services and to track sources of energy generation and consumption to accurately determine the GHG impact.
  • The ability to incentivize residential customer behaviour in providing grid services.
  • Merchants’ interest in the concept of a new customer “rewards” program where points are redeemable for goods and services.
Services enabled by GridExchange

In the GridExchange pilot program (which went live in August 2021) the following key energy services were tested:

  • Manage EV Charging: Electric vehicles can put a great strain on the power grid. Participants with EVs receive requests to charge their EV more slowly when the grid is strained. This enables utilities to continue to provide stable electricity on the grid by reducing the energy demand surge caused by EVs.
  • Reduce GHG Emissions: Ontario’s power grid relies on several energy sources some of which emit GHGs and negatively impact the climate. This service enables utilities to use clean energy generated by customer solar panels to reduce non-renewable energy on the grid.
  • Balance the Grid: To address the increased demand of energy during peak times, this service harnesses customers back-up battery storage to support the grid in two ways:  
    Availability: Energy in the back-up battery is ‘reserved’ in case it’s needed to help meet energy demand on the grid.  
    Delivery: Energy from the back-up battery is supplied to the grid to help meet the energy demand.

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GxRewards – Phone Mockup


How does GridExchange work?


The utility anticipating high electricity demand sends a notification to participating customers via the GridExchange app, requesting their participation in the energy services. The energy service requests can include ‘Manage EV Charging’ to slow down charging rate, ‘Balance the Grid’ by using back up battery storage, and ‘Reduce GHG Emissions’ by providing solar energy to the grid.

Participants can choose whether they want to opt-in to these events, and in exchange and upon completion of the services, they receive financial compensation directly into their bank account along with ‘GxRewards’. GxRewards are loyalty points earned each time customers participate in the energy service requests. These can be redeemed for products and services at the local businesses participating in the GridExchange ecosystem.

Request Icon – GridExchange

Request: The utility anticipating high electricity demand schedules a request asking customers to contribute clean energy to the grid.

Contribute Icon – GridExchange

Contribute: GridExchange participants respond confirming availability, shortlisted participants are notified and contribute to reducing the peak demand.

Compensate Icon – GridExchange

Compensate: Fast and secure processes verify customer participation and unlock payment and GxReward points.

How Blockchain enables GridExchange

The use of Blockchain technology provides near real-time transparency, tracking, and management of customer DERs and creates a marketplace for exchanging rewards earned from participation for other goods and services. Features that make Blockchain robust are:

  • Security: Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that records information in a way that is nearly impossible to change or hack due to cryptographic techniques.
  • Transparency and Trust: Due to the distributed nature of the data, Blockchain allows many key players in a transaction system to view the same information, removing the need for everyone to maintain their own databases or ledgers. This also creates trust as no one party controls the data flows of the network.
  • Smart Contracts: Blockchain facilitates customer contracting while ensuring consistent interpretation.
  • Traceability: Blockchain offers the ability to track where and how transactions originated. This means that network participants who are involved in a transaction (from verifying and settling) can view transaction data, which is collected and combined in blocks, rather than being entered individually.

The Benefits of GridExchange

Gives customers energy choices icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Gives customers energy choices, they benefit from existing DERs.

GRE&T Centre Grid Innovation Icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Enables improved grid planning and balancing decisions, reducing overall energy system costs.

Shape a clean energy future icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Motivates regulators to propose standards and policies that shape a clean energy future.

Becoming GRE&T Icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Engages communities in a journey that enables climate action leading to a greener future.

Other benefits

Benefits to Utilities/System Operators

  • Unlock the value DERs bring to the electricity system.
  • Increased visibility over DERs.
  • DER-Integrated system planning and grid operations to defer infrastructure costs.

Benefits to Energy Customers

  • Earn more from existing DERs in their homes.
  • Get empowered with greater energy choices, control, and autonomy.
  • Earn money and GxRewards.

Benefits to the Environment

  • Incentivizes residential customers to adopt clean energy technologies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Aids development of infrastructure to enable the adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as EVs.
  • Fosters economic growth within the cleantech industry.

Benefits to Local Businesses

  • Procure carbon or renewable energy credits for sustainability reporting or ESG mandates.
  • Attract additional customers to their business.

Benefits to Communities

  • Decentralized systems increase energy reliability and resilience for communities.
  • Lower energy costs due to reduction in electrical infrastructure investments.
  • Empower communities to engage and contribute towards Municipal or provincial NetZero goals.

GridExchange Live Pilot - Impact and Learnings


Initial work on GridExchange project started in July 2019, the live pilot of the software was completed between August 2021 and January 2022. 21 residential customers from Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, Barrie, and Hamilton participated in the live pilot. Four local business were signed up to help participating customers redeem their GxRewards for goods and services. They are:

  • Chuck’s Bar and Grill (Maple, ON).
  • Grand Tour Autospa (Markham, ON).
  • TruBliss Wellness & Spa (Woodbridge, ON).
  • Pizzaville (Woodbridge, Thornhill, Barrie, Hamilton, and Vaughan, ON).

The pilot successfully proved the value of customer energy resources for the electricity system. The customers saw first-hand the monetary benefits of transitioning from a customer to a prosumer of energy. Local businesses got energized when customers redeemed their 'Gx Rewards'. The entire community benefitted by getting close to 1600 kWh of energy from a previously untapped resource!

The live pilot led the team to conclude that customers are ready to make the journey to becoming Prosumers of energy. Such a transition is not only driven by passion for the environment and sustainability but also makes economic sense. 

Alectra has goals to continue to enhance the platform for internal and external use.

Green house gas (GHG) Icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Environmental Impact: 294 kgCO2 reduced (internal Alectra estimates).

Becoming GRE&T Icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Energy savings: 1606 kWh of energy reduced (internal Alectra estimates).

Technology Readiness Level Icon – Benefits of GridExchange

Technology Readiness Level: Moved from TRL level 3 to 7 (starting from proof of concept to live pilot).

Participant Testimonials

"Right from the start, when we installed the panels, my question was 'Can we give to the grid?'. And now we’re doing it and we’re getting reimbursed. This is great.”

"The app has been like a game for us, we chat about it often to check how much we have saved, and then we exchange screenshots.”

"Our neighbours were quite impressed and want to be involved”.

Project Spotlight

In Collaboration With


GridExchange Collaborators Logo Grid

For any queries regarding GridExchange Platform, email GridExchange Support at

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