The CRU is led by up to three Commissioners at any one time. The Commissioners are Aoife MacEvilly (Chairperson), Paul McGowan 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 Loretta Lambkin (Director of Operations and Organisational Development), John Melvin (Director of Energy Markets and Smart Metering), Karen Trant (Director of Energy Networks and Legal), Phil Hemmingway (Director of Energy Safety) and Karen Kavanagh (Director of Economic Regulation (Water) and Compliance).
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 CRU’s 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. The division discharges its functions 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
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, Finance, Governance and Communications functions 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 MA 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. The CRU’s Energy Safety Division holds a key oversight role in protecting public safety and the prevention of major accidents in Ireland’s energy sector. Phil is responsible for overseeing energy safety regulation in the gas sector (networks, supply, storage, use and liquefied petroleum gas distribution), petroleum sector (upstream onshore and offshore exploration and extraction), and of gas and electrical safety supervisory bodies. 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 Energy Markets and Smart Metering
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.
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.
Karen Kavanagh- Director of Economic Regulation (Water) and Compliance
Karen was 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 MSc.in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and an Advanced Diploma in Quasi-Judicial Decision-Making from Kings Inns. Karen leads the division responsible for all aspects of economic regulation of Irish Water. Karen also leads the economic compliance and enforcement function across energy and water and is responsible for the CRU’s Customer Care Team.