The CER has responsibility for regulating the electricity market in the Republic of Ireland. In this market generators produce electricity from a number of fuel sources. Suppliers are responsible for selling electricity to customers and ESB Networks and EirGrid work to ensure that electricity is transported safely, through a network of cables and lines from generation stations to the customers’ premises.
Electricity in Ireland is generated from a number of different sources. The main fuel used to generate electricity is gas, however through a number of different schemes renewable electricity production is on the increase.
Electricity Supply and Competition
The electricity market opened fully to competition on the 19th of February 2005, this means that suppliers can enter the market and compete for business. Since 2005 competition has continued to develop in all aspects of the market and as a result all sectors of the electricity supply market have been deregulated.since 4th April 2011.
The infrastructure of wires and cables around the country can be divided into the distribution network and the transmission network. The transmission network is used to send electricity from generating stations to main points in the country. The electricity passes into the distribution network at these points. The distribution network then sends electricity supply to customers’ premises.ESB Networks is responsible for the operation, maintenance and development of the electricity distribution network in Ireland. It is also responsible for maintaining and developing the transmission network. ESB Networks operates independently from other areas of the ESB and is required to provide services on a non - discriminatory manner to all customers, regardless of their electricity supplier. All customers are entitled to an equal level of service. ESB Networks is the point of contact when a customer wants a connection to the distribution network or if there is an emergency to report. They also have responsibility for all aspects of metering including meter reading. EirGrid is responsible for operating and planning the development of the transmission system.
Single Electricity Market (SEM)
Since 1st of November 2007, the CER and Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland, together referred to as the Regulatory Authorities or RAs, have jointly regulated the all-island wholesale electricity market known as the Single Electricity Market (SEM). The SEM covers both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Further information on the SEM can be found at www.allislandproject.org