The CRU is led by up to three Commissioners at any one time. The Commissioners are Paul McGowan (Chairperson), Aoife MacEvilly and Jim Gannon.
The Commissioners are assisted in their duties by a staff of about 100, including 5 directors.
The work of the CRU is divided into five separate Divisions, with each Division led by a Director. The Directors are Laura Brien (Director of Water), Loretta Lambkin (Director of Operations and Organisational Development), John Melvin (Director of Energy Markets), Karen Trant (Director of Energy Networks and Legal) and Ann McGarry (Director of Energy Safety and Customer Affairs).
This structure reflects the CRU’s varied economic, customer protection and safety responsibilities in energy as well as its role as economic water regulator.
The CRU is the economic regulator for the public water and wastewater sector, covering the services provided by Irish Water. Our primary aim is to protect the interests of customers of Irish Water. In carrying out this role, the CRU seeks to ensure that Irish Water is run as efficiently as possible while providing appropriate water and wastewater services to its customers. The CRU approves Irish Water’s Water Charges Plan which reflects the allowed revenue, connection charging policy and the domestic and non-domestic tariff regime.
Energy Markets Division
The Energy Markets Division is responsible for overseeing the wholesale all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) in co-operation with the Utility Regulator in Belfast. The division also monitors security of supply and generation adequacy in Ireland, the National Smart Metering Programme and is responsible for the monitoring and regulation of the energy retail market and the licensing of energy suppliers.
Energy Networks and Legal Division
This division is responsible for the economic regulation of the electricity and natural gas infrastructures in Ireland, including setting network development and connection policy, approving charges for access to and use of the networks and resolving connection disputes. Finally, the division also has a general role in advising the organisation on all legal matters.
Energy Safety Division
The Energy Safety Division is responsible for the implementation of the gas safety framework and electricity safety functions. These include the safety regulation of gas supply, gas networks (including LPG), gas storage and the use of gas, the regulation of gas installers (including LPG) and electrical contractors. Furthermore the division is responsible for the regulation of upstream petroleum exploration and extraction activities.
Senior Management Team
Commissioner Paul McGowan - Chairperson
Paul been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since 2013 and was appointed Chair in February 2017. His lead responsibilities within CRU include water regulation and energy safety. Since 2000, Paul has held various roles in CRU across energy safety, all-island energy markets and gas regulation. Paul also previously worked in the offshore oil and gas, education and construction sectors. Paul is a Chartered Surveyor by profession with a PhD in the field of Construction/Engineering Management.
Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly
Aoife has been a member of the Commission since October 2014. Her lead responsibilities include empowering and protecting customers, retail policy, smart metering and the future role of gas in a secure, decarbonised energy system. Aoife previously worked in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. She holds a BA in European Business and German from Ulster University and Professional Diplomas in Regulatory Governance, Strategy Development and Corporate Governance from UCD and UCD Smurfit.
Commissioner Jim Gannon
Jim has been a member of the Commission since October 2019. His responsibilities include the electricity wholesale market, electricity networks and operations. This includes the Single Electricity Market, generation; connections and interconnection; system services and flexibility; and security of supply. Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Jim served as the CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and before that role worked in the private sector within the energy industry
Laura Brien - Director of Water
Laura was appointed Director of Water and Compliance in February 2019, where she leads the CRU’s work on economic regulation of Irish Water and the oversight of all aspects of CRU’s activities related to compliance and enforcement under CRU’s economic regulation remit. Prior to that she was Director of Energy Markets at the CRU since 2014, where she was responsible for delivering the Integrated Single Electricity Market for energy and capacity, to achieve compliance with the EU internal energy market. Prior to joining the CRU, she was senior economic advisor to ComReg, the Irish telecommunications regulator, from 2012 to 2014. She is a member of the Bureau of the OECD Network of Economic Regulators, and holds a Commerce degree from University College Dublin, Ireland and an M.Phil in Economics from Oxford University, UK.
Loretta Lambkin - Director of Operations and Organisational Development
Loretta joined the CRU in 2019 as the Director of Operations and Organisational Development. Prior to joining CRU, Loretta was the Chief Officer of An Bord Pleanála (6 years). She has also held the posts of acting Chief Executive and Director of Marketing for the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Marketing Manager at Diageo plc. Loretta is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (B.A. Geography and Sociology) and UCD (M.A. Geography) and holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, USA.
John Melvin - Director of Energy Markets
John was appointed as the Director of Energy Markets and Smart Metering in May 2018, previously Director of Energy Networks and Legal. John has over 20 years’ experience in the energy sector and has held roles in the commercial energy sector in engineering consultancy and operation of power generation facilities. He is a graduate of University College Dublin where he completed a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering, and also holds a M.Sc. in Finance from the Smurfit School of Business. John Melvin is responsible for overseeing all aspects of competition and consumer protection in the energy retail markets in Ireland and the wholesale all-island electricity market (SEM) in cooperation with colleagues from the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland. John’s division also has responsibility for the overall coordination of the Smart Meter Upgrade Project.
Ann McGarry - Director of Energy Safety and Customer Affairs
Ann was appointed Director of Energy Safety and Customer Affairs with the CRU in May 2016. Prior to joining the CRU, Ann served as Director of the Office of Radiological Protection in the Environmental Protection Agency following its establishment in August 2014. She was Chief Executive of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland between 2002 and 2014. Ann is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology and University College, Dublin. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Physics and a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from UCD. In 2006, she was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Dublin Institute of Technology in recognition of her achievements in the sciences.
Karen Trant - Director of Networks and Legal
Karen joined the CRU in 2006 and has been involved in the energy Safety and energy Networks Divisions both as a manager and then senior manager. She was appointed Director of Water in 2018, before moving to her current role as Director of Energy Networks & Legal. Karen has responsibility for the regulation of the electricity and natural gas infrastructures in Ireland, including setting network development and connection policy, approving charges for access to and use of the networks and resolving connection disputes. Her division also has a general role in advising the organisation on all legal matters. She is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast where she completed and LLB in Law. Karen is a qualified solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland.