Organisational Structure

The CRU is led by up to three Commissioners at any one time who are supported in their duties by a staff of about 120 including 5 Directors.

The work of the CRU is divided into five separate Divisions each led by a Director reflecting the CRU’s varied economic, customer protection and safety responsibilities in energy as well as its role as economic regulator of Irish Water.

Security of Supply and Wholesale – Director, John Melvin

The Security of Supply and Wholesale Division is leading a programme of actions to  ensure a secure energy transition to 2030 and beyond.

The Division oversees the wholesale all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) in co-operation with the Utility Regulator in Belfast.

The Division is responsible for the regulation of the wholesale electricity capacity, system services and energy markets with the objective of ensuring there is a sustainable and secure electricity system, by providing  appropriate signals for investment in new renewable generation, and the low carbon and flexible gas generation capacity that will enable this.

Networks and Economic Regulation – Director, Karen Kavanagh

The Networks and Economic Regulation Division leads our work with Irish Water and energy companies enhancing the CRU’s economic regulation of these critical networks ensuring that they support customers, underpin economic growth and play a transformational role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This Division is responsible for regulating the activities of the electricity and gas distribution and transmission operators and asset owners, setting allowed revenues and annual tariffs within the appropriate incentive frameworks to ensure that all investment in networks is efficient and delivers the best outcome for customers.

The economic regulation of services provided by Irish Water seeks to ensure that Irish Water is run as efficiently as possible while providing appropriate water and waste water 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.

Customer Policy and Protection (incl. Legal) – Director, Karen Trant

Functions to empower and protect customers are part of the Customer Policy and Protection Division. The Division is responsible for overseeing all aspects of competition, licensing and consumer protection in the energy retail markets in Ireland. Responsibility for the overall coordination of the National Smart Metering Programme as well as provision of a dispute resolution service for energy and water customers also sit with this Division.

This Division will also lead on empowering customers to participate in and benefit from the energy transition, including developing new regulatory frameworks to facilitate Active Customers, Energy Communities and Aggregators.

The Division also has a general role in advising the organisation on all legal matters.

Energy Safety – Director, Phil Hemingway

The Energy Safety Division holds a key oversight role in protecting public safety and the prevention of major accidents in Ireland’s energy sector. The Division is responsible for safety regulation of gas (networks, supply, storage, use and liquefied petroleum gas distribution), petroleum (upstream onshore and offshore exploration and extraction), gas installers and electrical contractors.

Functions are discharged through:

  • review and input into energy safety policy and legislative amendments;
  • analysis of energy safety trends;
  • conducting inspections, audits, incident and potential illegal gas/electrical works investigations; and
  • taking enforcement action where warranted.

Operations and Organisational Development – Director, Loretta Lambkin

The Operations and Organisational Development Division is responsible for supporting and empowering CRU teams to achieve outcomes set out the in the Strategic Plan.

The Division includes:

  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology/Facilities
  • Finance and Governance
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • Business support

These functions focus on implementing evolving public sector and other best practice guidance and strategy for the organisation.  Also overseeing preparation and implementation of the CRU’s Strategic Plan, the Division has a particular focus on organisational design and development, maintaining the highest governance standards and managing relationships with stakeholders.

Senior Management Team

Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly - Chairperson

Aoife has been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since October 2014 and was appointed Chairperson in February 2020. Her lead responsibilities include empowering and protecting customers,  supporting active customers and communities and the future role of gas in a secure, decarbonised energy system. Aoife previously worked in the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and in the private sector. She holds a BA in European Business and German from Ulster University, a Professional Diploma in Regulatory Governance from UCD and an MSc in Leadership from UCD Smurfit.

Commissioner Paul McGowan

Paul been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since 2013 and was Chair from February 2017 to February 2020. 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 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

Phil Hemmingway - Director of Energy Safety

Phil joined the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in 2020 as the Director of the Energy Safety Division. Phil previously held roles as Head of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Research & Technology Department; as an Assistant Professor at UCD; as an energy technology & policy consultant at RPS Group and at Science Foundation Ireland. Phil is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and holds Bachelors (engineering) & Doctoral (energy) degrees from UCD.

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 Security of Supply and Wholesale

John took on the role of Director of Security of Supply and Wholesale in January 2022 having previously worked as the Director of Energy Markets and Smart Metering since 2018 and previously as Director of Energy Networks and Legal. Prior to joining the CRU in 2008, John worked 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.

 Karen Trant - Director of Customer Policy and Protection (incl. Legal)

Karen joined the CRU in 2006 and has worked in the energy safety and networks divisions both as a manager and senior manager. She was appointed Director of Water in 2018, then Director of Energy Networks and is currently (since January 2022) the Director Customer Policy and Protection including Legal. 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.

Karen Kavanagh- Director of Networks and Economic Regulation

Karen is the Director of Networks and Economic Regulation since January 2022 having been appointed as the Director of Economic Regulation (Water) and Compliance in April 2021. Karen has over 20 years’ experience in economic regulation across the utilities and telecommunications sectors. She has a BSc. in Applied Science and a PhD. in Physics from the Technological University Dublin. She also holds an Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and an Advanced Diploma in Quasi-Judicial Decision-Making from Kings Inns.